Tears and anger of Ford staff

Daily Echo: Tears and anger of Ford staff Tears and anger of Ford staff

IT is normally a hive of activity, where the beeping of forklift trucks and the rumbling of lorries can be heard throughout the day.

But Southampton’s Ford plant was eerily quiet yesterday afternoon, as devastated workers left early to come to terms with the fact they would be out of a job within months.

Some staff members left the Swaythling factory in tears and headed straight home – while others made a beeline for the nearest pub to talk over the shocking news with colleagues.

 

The 500-strong workforce was called to a meeting at 11.15am but the Daily Echo understands that the staff faced an anxious 45-minute hold-up as the official announcement from their managers was delayed.

As they waited, some still speculated that the news could be that the factory’s future had been secured with contracts for new models.

But there was ultimately disappointment when the plant’s manager, who was described as being “almost in tears”, told his staff that the Swaythling factory was set to close for good.

Workers said they had been told the decision was down to the economic slump in Europe and not anything to do with their own efforts.

Older employees expressed their fears for younger staff, who have mortgages and debts to pay and would not be in line for the larger service-based pay-offs.

Some people have been working at the factory for more than 30 years and expressed their disbelief that in July next year they would no longer be going there every day.

And for many, beneath the shock was an undercurrent of anger – and a feeling that hard work over the years to keep the plant open had been in vain.

Paint shop operative Mike Byng, 25, from Swaythling said: “It feels like they have let us down time and time again.

“I personally think it’s greed – the plant is highly profitable but they can make a bit more in Turkey because they have to pay the workers a quarter of what they pay us.”

One employee estimated that at least 600 people work as subcontractors at the plant – in addition to the salaried workforce.

Joe King, 42, from Bitterne said he worked for subcontractor PENSKE and was not in line for the pay deals that Ford workers were expecting.

He said: “I have got a mortgage and I’m going to be in trouble.

“I’m not going to get the same pay off as the Ford workers – I’m heartbroken to be honest.

“It’s come as a shock for me; we didn’t see this coming at all.

“I’ve got another 15 years on the mortgage to pay and it’s going to be hard to find the equivalent pay outside Ford.

“I’m absolutely gutted.”

Comments (6)

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9:25am Fri 26 Oct 12

Mr Price says...

Very Sad day for all the employee's and I do feel for them..Southamapton over the last decade has lost so much in the manufacturing industry..STC, BAT, AC DELCO, BACARDI MARTINI, VOSPERS, FORDS .......Sorry to say its sign of the times GREED.
Very Sad day for all the employee's and I do feel for them..Southamapton over the last decade has lost so much in the manufacturing industry..STC, BAT, AC DELCO, BACARDI MARTINI, VOSPERS, FORDS .......Sorry to say its sign of the times GREED. Mr Price

9:32am Fri 26 Oct 12

Southampton boy says...

Did Fords get some money from teh Gov in 2009 to ensure that the plant stayed open! our was this just for 4 years.
I am sad by this news and feel for all the workers alike I just hope people in the UK look at this and may be stop buying Fords what I do not understand is how come Honda and others can make it here but Fords can't.
May be Honda will open up in Southampton making a van that would be one in the eye for Fords still good luck to you all
Did Fords get some money from teh Gov in 2009 to ensure that the plant stayed open! our was this just for 4 years. I am sad by this news and feel for all the workers alike I just hope people in the UK look at this and may be stop buying Fords what I do not understand is how come Honda and others can make it here but Fords can't. May be Honda will open up in Southampton making a van that would be one in the eye for Fords still good luck to you all Southampton boy

11:27am Fri 26 Oct 12

Fatty x Ford Worker says...

Writing was on the wall for years you aint got a job for life get over it and come to terms like me. I was made redundant from Fords in 92 when Dagenham pinched KD.
Writing was on the wall for years you aint got a job for life get over it and come to terms like me. I was made redundant from Fords in 92 when Dagenham pinched KD. Fatty x Ford Worker

11:29am Fri 26 Oct 12

madmike says...

I worked for Fords on the production line for 32 years and i was deeply saddened by the news . I feel really sorry for my former colleagues who have worked so hard to keep their jobs and make a living. I sincerely hope they all find new jobs and don't suffer because of the closure. The closure statement is typical of the company. Did you really expect them to say sorry? No chance , because they're not. They are only interested in making profits and saving money where they can. As for the plant manager being close to tears. What a laugh. He'll be redeployed in another part of the company in a job just as highly paid , so he won't have to worry. Good luck to all my former mates at Fords.I wish you all the best .
I worked for Fords on the production line for 32 years and i was deeply saddened by the news . I feel really sorry for my former colleagues who have worked so hard to keep their jobs and make a living. I sincerely hope they all find new jobs and don't suffer because of the closure. The closure statement is typical of the company. Did you really expect them to say sorry? No chance , because they're not. They are only interested in making profits and saving money where they can. As for the plant manager being close to tears. What a laugh. He'll be redeployed in another part of the company in a job just as highly paid , so he won't have to worry. Good luck to all my former mates at Fords.I wish you all the best . madmike

3:47pm Fri 26 Oct 12

Nicole23 says...

They should have thought about that before they all threatened a national strike over pensions.
You never know what you have got until it's gone.
They should have thought about that before they all threatened a national strike over pensions. You never know what you have got until it's gone. Nicole23

10:09am Sun 28 Oct 12

chunky_lover says...

Nicole23 wrote:
They should have thought about that before they all threatened a national strike over pensions.
You never know what you have got until it's gone.
An excellent comment.
[quote][p][bold]Nicole23[/bold] wrote: They should have thought about that before they all threatened a national strike over pensions. You never know what you have got until it's gone.[/p][/quote]An excellent comment. chunky_lover

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