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Ford strike ballot

Hundreds of workers at car giant Ford are to be balloted for strikes following a decision to close their plant. Unite said more than 650 of its members at the stamping and tooling site in Dagenham will vote in coming weeks.

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Ford workers balloted on strike action

Unite says more than 650 of its members will vote on whether to strike Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Hundreds of workers at car giant Ford are to be balloted for strikes following a decision to close their plant.

Unite said more than 650 of its members at the stamping and tooling site in Dagenham will vote in coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

Ford workers on the picket line in Dagenham in a previous strike over pay and pensions in June 2012 Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

The dispute stems from a decision last year to end production at Ford's plant in Southampton and to close Dagenham. Unite said more than 100 toolmakers have not been found suitable jobs, and workers being redeployed are being given little information about the work they'll be doing.

National officer Roger Maddison said:

"Ford betrayed its workers when it announced the closure of its plants and now the company is rubbing salt into the loyal workers' wounds by treating them with contempt.

"The workers at Dagenham are furious and they are right to want to stand up to the company's despicable behaviour. Skilled workers with over 20 years of experience are being forced to change career but are being given no information about what they'll be doing.

A view of the Dagenham plant from the River Thames Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA.

"Many of them will have their pensions severely slashed and some workers might fail capability tests and be sacked after all. To make matters worse, over 100 workers have not even been found suitable work despite the company's promise to do so.

"Skilled workers with years of experience are being thrown on the scrapheap. Workers who feel they have to accept a severance package are being offered up to £30,000 less than their colleagues in Southampton.

"Whether the workforce chooses to stay or go, it is being treated like a second class citizen.

"To make matters worse Ford is bullying workers with threats to withdraw the package on offer if workers take action. A vote for strike action will send a clear message to Ford that its betrayal can't and won't stand."

The ballot result is due on the 1st of May.

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