UNIONS in Belgium have rejected a proposed 70,000 euro payoff by Ford for workers at its Genk plant.

The severance package, the equivalent of £56,000 is slightly less than the £65,000 to £80,000 that has been put on the table for the 500 workers in Southampton who face the axe when from the planned closure of the Swaythling Transit plant in July.

The Genk redundancy offer to its 4,300 workers facing the axe is seen as a starting point for negotiations.

Unions in Belgium have yet to sit down for talks with Ford to discuss any details or alternatives to the closure as part of a consultation process required by law.

They claim Ford Europe bosses have refused to meet them at Genk factory. The city mayor has offered to broker talks.