AM Online

Union ups the pressure on Ford

Unite, the UK’s largest union, is putting pressure on Ford and the Government to include it in discussions over the future sale of Jaguar and Land Rover.

Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, said as Ford short listed potential bids 'it must involve the union in the decision making process not just accept the highest bid and go'.

He also called on the Government to make sure it played its part in securing the future of the British brands with around 19,000 directly employed jobs and at least twice that in the supply chain.

Woodley said: “There are no ifs, buts, ands or maybes here. We want full involvement. We want clear decisions securing the jobs of all our members now and in the future along with their pay and pensions plus the futures of all Ford plants in the UK.

“To ministers the message is clear. If manufacturing in this country matters, and it does, they have got a responsibility not to walk away and adopt a ‘market rules ok’ attitude.”

In a five-point plan, Woodley called on Ford to:

1. Work with Unite to agree the future of Jaguar Land Rover production and development sites as well as the relevant Ford Blue Oval sites in the supply chain including the decisions on who to sell to.

2. Set out as the basis for any sale the continuation of vehicle production, design and development at the existing Jaguar Land Rover production and development sites.

3. Make it a condition of sale that a minimum 10 year service contract with the Ford Blue Oval and other current suppliers be agreed

4. Retain a sizable financial stake in any new company established to take over Jaguar Land Rover to ensure such a long term contract.

5. Write into the conditions of sale that existing arrangements for trade union recognition and bargaining continue and that the workforce terms and conditions of employment including current pension arrangements are protected.

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