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Ford fallout: hundreds more jobs could go
AT least 200 more jobs could go as Ford’s closure sends shockwaves through the local economy, the Daily Echo can reveal.
The axe is set to fall on firms supplying logistics and parts to the Swaythling plant as well as the 500 staff directly employed at the historic plant.
And last night Southampton City Council leader Councillor Richard Williams warned that the fall-out on the wider service industry could continue to spiral and bring the total losses to more than 1,000.
In what he dubbed as the “the worst excesses of globalisation”, Cllr Williams also claimed that the US car giant bosses in Detroit kept their plans secret from their British counterparts until they dropped the bombshell on Wednesday.
This saw stunned staff at contract firms yesterday meeting their equally shocked bosses amid fears for their future. But unions warned that contract staff could melt away before the plant shuts in July.
Unite regional officer Fred Hanna said that more than 120 staff at Penske Logistics who work at the plant are angry that they have not been promised the same generous “continuity payments” enjoyed by their Ford colleagues.
One worker told the Daily Echo: “We have no incentive to stay.”
Penske spokesman Randolph Ryerson said: “We understand this is a difficult time.
Management will be communicating and consulting with them over the coming days and weeks as we work through the details.”
Cleaning support workers are also among those facing redundancy.
One firm, Hamptons, supplies more than 30 staff to clean the factory. Operations manager Terry Vincent said: “We will continue to run until the summer and support our employees during the difficult time.”
About 45 jobs are also under threat at Magna Seating, located next door to the plant, which supplies upholstery for the Transit van. The company has previously felt the strain of job losses at Ford, when it was forced to trim part of its workforce when the plant shed 500 workers four years ago.
A Magna spokesman said it was too early to speculate on the fate of the staff.
Cllr Williams said even Ford UK bosses had been caught off guard.
He told the Daily Echo: “It was literally out of the blue – straight out of Detroit without advance notification.
“Nobody knew about it until Wednesday. It is a catastrophic way of dealing with things.
It is so unfair and the worst excesses of globalisation.”
Ford declined to comment.