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134 former staff from Swaythling plant begin roles at new distribution centre
It was an historic moment that marked the end of decades of vehicle manufacturing in Southampton.
Now, three weeks later, the 134 Ford employees retained by the company have returned to work in the city’s new look operations.
The new £12m vehicle distribution centre at Southampton docks is now up-and-running, while scaled down vehicle refurbishment at the original plant in Wide Lane is under way. As reported by the Daily Echo, the distribution centre will form part of the firm’s logistics operations. It will be involved in import vehicle handling and onward distribution, and the shipping of engines to China.
All of the 531 affected by the closure either chose redeployment within the company, voluntary redundancy or early retirement.
A further 41 employees in Southampton took up positions at other Ford locations in the UK and 41 agreed offers of alternative employment outside the company.
Brian Bennett, spokesman for Ford, said it was “business as planned” as a smaller workforce returned to new roles.
He said: “They were back at this time of year as planned.
“The workforce is beginning to start these operations at the time when the shut down period ended.
“It was very much business as planned. These people are taking up new roles but there is no loss of doing how much they were doing before.
“This is new for them.
“Ford has made significant investment to deliver these two centres and the company remains committed to the area.
“We don’t want people to think we have left Southampton.”
Decommissioning work has been carried out at the Swaythling plant since its closure in July as environmental, legal, and planning studies are carried out to determine the future use of the site.
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