Ford has betrayed its workforce and its loyal customer base. Unite is going to fight these closures. This announcement has been handled disgracefully.
Only a few months ago Ford was promising staff a new transit model for Southampton in 2014. The planned closures will really hurt the local economies and the supply chain will be badly hit - up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk.
The Transit has been the best-selling van in the UK for over a quarter of a century. It has a future in the UK if this government is prepared to fight for real jobs and persuade Ford to keep manufacturing vehicles in the UK.
It's now time for Vince Cable (Business Secretary) to put his words into action and intervene for the sake of British manufacturing and skilled jobs. Unite will be meeting with our own UK union representatives and our European colleagues over the coming days to discuss the next steps.
Ford has announced plans to close its plant in Southampton and downsize operations in Dagenham with risks to 1,400 jobs.
As politicians and pundits welcome the GDP figures, a reminder of how tricky this recovery is going to be emerges from the Ford plants.