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  • "Ford should sack every striker to protect the jobs of those that want to work i.e. the real workers,final salary pension schemes are finished not just for Ford but everybody as they are no longer affordable. As for pay rates that is merely a reflection of the current employment situation, why should they offer more than they have too when they can take their pick of suitable candidates . It would be very sad but one of these days Ford are just going to say they have had enough and leave the U.K lock stock & barrel."
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Ford staff prepare to strike over pay and pensions

Ford staff prepare to strike over pay and pensions

Ford's Southampton assembly plant

Ford's Southampton assembly plant

First published in Business Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

Staff at Southampton’s Ford plant are preparing stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay and pensions.

Unite, which represents about 1,200 white collar employees at the carmaker, said the walkout will start at 6am on Monday, affecting sites across the country including Southampton, Dagenham in Essex, Bridgend in South Wales, and Halewood on Merseyside.

The union said staff were ''furious'' at plans to close the final salary pension scheme to new starters and lower their rates of pay.

The dispute is understood to involve dozens of the 600 staff at Ford’s Southampton assembly plant in Swaythling, which makes around 28,000 Ford Transit vans a year.

Production workers are not involved in the dispute.

Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: ''Our staff members will not stand by and allow Ford to create a two-tier workforce on pay and pensions. To date Ford has failed to make any genuine attempts to resolve this dispute.

''We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford's final salary scheme to new entrants because we believe ultimately Ford will try to close the entire scheme.

Ford must prove that it is committed to the UK by investing in its UK workforce. The UK has the best sales in Europe, there's no excuse to attack the terms and conditions of a new generation of Ford staff.

''The company is also refusing to back away from creating a two tier workforce by making new starters work for less money for doing the same job as existing staff. This is totally unacceptable.''

A Ford spokesman said: ''The issue giving rise to the industrial action relates to a disagreement between the company and a particular group of its employees in relation to their ongoing pay and benefit negotiations.

''Ford remains willing and available to continue discussions with the union representing these workers.

''The vast majority of the company's employees are not involved in this disagreement, or the decision to take industrial action.''

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