STRIKE threats loom over the Ford factory as more than 100 contract workers vote on industrial action.

A furious pay row has erupted at Penske Logistics which works on site at the giant Southampton plant.

The new dispute comes just months after Ford slashed half its 1,000-strong workforce which led to a devastating fallout with job cuts throughout the contract and supply chain.

Workers are currently voting over whether to take industrial action. If successful a mass meeting will be held to discuss what form this would take.

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

Unite union boss Ian Woodland said: “Workers are telling me they can’t trust a word management tells them. They have no confidence in how they are being managed and they are being treated in a heavy-handed way.

“I think there is a big morale problem.”

The row started when Penske workers were told they would be working shifts at the Swaythling operation – but there was no longer money for the shift allowances they had previously received. The contractor, which employs 126 workers at Ford, also wanted to push back other pay negotiations – due in September – to January of next year.

An insider at the company – which employs around 126 staff from its Swaythling offices – said the workers had had enough.

The worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “What can you say about the mood in the factory.

“It is at an all-time low.

Pretty bad. We are working alongside Ford workers only earning a fraction of what they get.

“They expect us to do shifts like before but just not get paid for it. It’s disgusting.”

Another said: “They are just taking, taking, taking and we are sick of doing nothing. It feels like we have been banging our heads against a brick wall and we have had enough.

“Most of the men want strike action.”

Penske US boss Randolph Ryerson told the Daily Echo: “We are in discussions with the union to secure a fair, competitive agreement that will enable us to continue providing excellent service to our customer.

“We understand our associates’ concerns and look forward to working towards a resolution.”