Gordon Brown replies to Southampton's Ford Transit Factory petition

Paola Slominksi with Laura (8), Phillip Edwards (78) Lidia (6), and Stephen

Gordon Brown

First published in Ford Transit Factory Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

A HAMPSHIRE grandmother has branded the Prime Minister’s response to her plea to the Government to step in and help Ford as “disgraceful.”

More than 1,000 people put their name to Paola Slominski’s appeal for the Government to provide the £100m needed to retool the giant Southampton plant.

The 77-year-old Eastleigh pensioner posted the on-line petition on the 10 Downing Street web page in the hope of securing the future of the factory and its 1,100 workers, including her son Stephen.

Daily Echo: Click below to see a video of today's headlines in sixty seconds

After months of waiting Gordon Brown finally sent a response to the firebrand grannie.

The paragraph posted, which does not mention the cash needed to keep the plant at full production, stated: “The Govern-ment are aware of the valuable contribution the Ford Transit plant at Southampton makes to the UK.

“The Government welcomes the fact that Ford has recently committed to retaining manufacture of the Transit ‘chassis cab’ variant at the site and the Government continues to be in regular discussion with the company.”

Paola said: “I am disgusted they can say they welcome Ford’s decision to drastically cut staff numbers. I feel sorry for those poor boys.

“They have already got rid of 500 and they are going to have to get rid of more when this new plan comes in.

“They are just hacking away at it bit by bit and I don’t feel very confident for the future of the plant.”

Daily Echo: Read our in depth coverage of this subject The Government response went on to refer to the package of measures it claims to have put in place to save the ailing motor trade.

The petition was first posted after it emerged the motor giant was to cut output from 75,000 vehicles a year to just 35,000 chassis cabs, slash jobs and export production of the iconic British Transit to Turkey.

However, this plan has been put on hold due to the economic downturn – which has lead to the company axing more than 500 jobs.

The first sign of question marks over the Swaythling operation came last July when the Daily Echo exclusively published a leaked company memo which revealed the plant was under review.

Comments (7)

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10:55am Mon 30 Mar 09

Keith Oftergrass says...

How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ?

Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions.

Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway !

How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ? Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions. Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway ! Keith Oftergrass
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Mon 30 Mar 09

Miles Sway says...

If only 1000 or so signed the petition it doesn't speak much for local support - there are 1100 workers at Fords alone, then all the families, associated businesses etc. Fair play to her for trying though but no surprise at Gordon's reply.
If only 1000 or so signed the petition it doesn't speak much for local support - there are 1100 workers at Fords alone, then all the families, associated businesses etc. Fair play to her for trying though but no surprise at Gordon's reply. Miles Sway
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Mon 30 Mar 09

stay local says...

could it be that these petitions had a greater response?

increase the maximum jail term for the offence of 'allowing or causing the death of a child' amy linstrum 21 May 2009 1363

give a firm date and clear details for the enactment of legislation to ban age discrimination in every area of life and across all goods, facilities and services, as called for by the charity Help the Aged. Hugh Mouser 17 April 2009 1345

ensure the full implementation of the Artist's Resale Right for artists' families and loved ones as soon as possible and review any decision that seeks to deny artists the rights they deserve. Tania Spriggens 2 January 2010 1292

overturn EU ruling on banning traditional barometer makers using mercury Frances Melton 3 April 2009 1276

To Amend the 2003 criminal Justice sexual offences bill retrospectively simon white 9 March 2010 1260

promote awareness of the biggest killer of Children, Teenagers and Young Adults - LEUKAEMIA Diane Watt 22 January 2010 1254

Make November the Official White History Month Mike Howson 13 October 2009 1245

lower the age for cervical smear testing to be available for women from 25yrs to age 20yrs Carmel Woodhouse 5 March 2010 1242

Change law rellating to the injury/attack of police dogs by offenders Matthew Carr 12 July 2009 1218

re-open the railway line between Colne (Lancashire) to Skipton (N.Yorkshire) Michael A.Sorfleet. 26 June 2009 1212

urgently review funding levels for local government in Surrey. Nick Skellett 9 January 2010 1206

Petition forMinisters Of Health, MRC and CMO to attend the INVEST in MEConference 29th May 2009 David Loomes 1 May 2009 1196

why would the uk suport a company based in the US where if the worst happens they will simply close their foriegn outlets without returning the money to the uk
could it be that these petitions had a greater response? increase the maximum jail term for the offence of 'allowing or causing the death of a child' amy linstrum 21 May 2009 1363 give a firm date and clear details for the enactment of legislation to ban age discrimination in every area of life and across all goods, facilities and services, as called for by the charity Help the Aged. Hugh Mouser 17 April 2009 1345 ensure the full implementation of the Artist's Resale Right for artists' families and loved ones as soon as possible and review any decision that seeks to deny artists the rights they deserve. Tania Spriggens 2 January 2010 1292 overturn EU ruling on banning traditional barometer makers using mercury Frances Melton 3 April 2009 1276 To Amend the 2003 criminal Justice sexual offences bill retrospectively simon white 9 March 2010 1260 promote awareness of the biggest killer of Children, Teenagers and Young Adults - LEUKAEMIA Diane Watt 22 January 2010 1254 Make November the Official White History Month Mike Howson 13 October 2009 1245 lower the age for cervical smear testing to be available for women from 25yrs to age 20yrs Carmel Woodhouse 5 March 2010 1242 Change law rellating to the injury/attack of police dogs by offenders Matthew Carr 12 July 2009 1218 re-open the railway line between Colne (Lancashire) to Skipton (N.Yorkshire) Michael A.Sorfleet. 26 June 2009 1212 urgently review funding levels for local government in Surrey. Nick Skellett 9 January 2010 1206 Petition forMinisters Of Health, MRC and CMO to attend the INVEST in MEConference 29th May 2009 David Loomes 1 May 2009 1196 why would the uk suport a company based in the US where if the worst happens they will simply close their foriegn outlets without returning the money to the uk stay local
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Mon 30 Mar 09

thesaint says...

Keith Oftergrass wrote:
How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ?

Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions.

Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway !

your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone.
[quote][p][bold]Keith Oftergrass[/bold] wrote: How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ? Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions. Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway ! [/p][/quote]your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone. thesaint
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Mon 30 Mar 09

Finlay says...

Has Ford closed down then?

No-one tells me anything!
Has Ford closed down then? No-one tells me anything! Finlay
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Mon 30 Mar 09

Keith Oftergrass says...

thesaint wrote:
Keith Oftergrass wrote:
How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ?

Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions.

Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway !

your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone.
I think you're confusing productive with cost-effective here.

What's the point of having a highly efficient and productive plant if you have to pay the outrageous wage demand of the UK employees - you can probably get at least a couple or three turks for the same money and get a better work rate if at reduced efficiency.

It's down to money at the end of the day my friend - I the Southampton plant is not financially viable all your statistics and measures mean nothing.

Good riddance the the eyesore I say.
[quote][p][bold]thesaint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keith Oftergrass[/bold] wrote: How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ? Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions. Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway ! [/p][/quote]your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone. [/p][/quote]I think you're confusing productive with cost-effective here. What's the point of having a highly efficient and productive plant if you have to pay the outrageous wage demand of the UK employees - you can probably get at least a couple or three turks for the same money and get a better work rate if at reduced efficiency. It's down to money at the end of the day my friend - I the Southampton plant is not financially viable all your statistics and measures mean nothing. Good riddance the the eyesore I say. Keith Oftergrass
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Mon 30 Mar 09

thesaint says...

Keith Oftergrass wrote:
thesaint wrote:
Keith Oftergrass wrote:
How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ?

Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions.

Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway !

your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone.
I think you're confusing productive with cost-effective here.

What's the point of having a highly efficient and productive plant if you have to pay the outrageous wage demand of the UK employees - you can probably get at least a couple or three turks for the same money and get a better work rate if at reduced efficiency.

It's down to money at the end of the day my friend - I the Southampton plant is not financially viable all your statistics and measures mean nothing.

Good riddance the the eyesore I say.
that is rubbish has germany ,france and holland want their vans sourced from the uk because of turkish quality problems.the wages at ford are low compared to the german ,spanish ford workers.but you like them to be paid peanuts in your brave new world.
[quote][p][bold]Keith Oftergrass[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesaint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keith Oftergrass[/bold] wrote: How ridiculous - why should the Great British taxpayer bail out any failing company, let alone an American one ? Judging by the size of payoffs and wages paid to Ford workers it's no wonder the plant is no longer viable in this country. The workforce have brought about their own downfall by being sheep to the trot Unions. Should any business go cap in hand to the Governments when it hits hard tiems and then expect old ladies to get a few people to put their mark on a petition, probably find most of them were these Ford 'workers' and their families, pets etc. anyway ! [/p][/quote]your talking rubbish,the plant is one of the most productive in europe but lets not spoil your bigtory,its going to turkey because of lower wages and no health and safety .so all that technology will be gone. [/p][/quote]I think you're confusing productive with cost-effective here. What's the point of having a highly efficient and productive plant if you have to pay the outrageous wage demand of the UK employees - you can probably get at least a couple or three turks for the same money and get a better work rate if at reduced efficiency. It's down to money at the end of the day my friend - I the Southampton plant is not financially viable all your statistics and measures mean nothing. Good riddance the the eyesore I say. [/p][/quote]that is rubbish has germany ,france and holland want their vans sourced from the uk because of turkish quality problems.the wages at ford are low compared to the german ,spanish ford workers.but you like them to be paid peanuts in your brave new world. thesaint
  • Score: 0

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