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Ford's five year plan shows 'significant drop' in jobs, Unite leader says

Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, the UK's biggest union, has told ITV that a 'significant drop in the number of jobs' is part of Ford's five year plan for Bridgend.

Yesterday ITV News revealed that Ford has drawn up plans to cut 1,160 jobs at its engine plant in Bridgend over the next four years.

Unite leader Len McCluskey speaking to ITV News in Bridgend today. Credit: ITV News

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We've asked Ford to provide for us the plans for Bridgend for the next five years, and they have done that.

Embodied in that is a significant drop in the number of jobs.

But our message is clear ... Ford have a duty to commit to the workforce in Bridgend.

– Unite leader Len McCluskey

Len McCluskey is addressing the Ford workers in separate meetings at the Bridgend plant today.

First Minister calls reports of Ford job losses 'deeply concerning'

Carwyn Jones says he's "deeply concerned" following reports that over a thousand jobs at the Ford engine plant in Bridgend could go over the next four years.

Carwyn Jones is seeking "urgent assurances" from Ford.

The First Minister, who's currently in the United States for a trade and investment tour, also confirmed the Welsh Government were "actively seeking urgent assurances" from Ford about their future plans.

These reports are clearly deeply concerning, and we are actively seeking urgent assurances from Ford - both in the U.K. and US - about their future plans. We are also speaking to the workforce through the trades unions and offering them every assistance. We have worked very closely with Ford over a number of years to secure a future for the Bridgend plant, and we remain committed to supporting these vital manufacturing jobs.

– First Minister Spokesperson

ITV News understands that Ford is responding to a fall in global demand and problems with efficiency - including restrictive work practices - specific to Bridgend.

The company expects headcount to fall from its current level of 1,760 to around 600 by 2021.

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Ford job cuts 'a body blow to Welsh economy'

Archive footage of the Ford factory in Bridgend. Credit: ITV Wales

Adam Price AM has described Ford's decision to draw up plans to cut 1,160 jobs at its engine plant in Bridgend as "a body blow to the heart of the Welsh economy."

The Assembly Member told ITV News that Plaid Cymru will be calling for a "crisis summit" and will table an urgent question in the Assembly.


Heseltine joins scrutiny of Swansea city deal plans

Lord Heseltine meeting the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns Credit: Office for the Secretary of State for Wales  

Plans for a scheme aimed at boosting Swansea and the surrounding areas will come under scrutiny by the Welsh Secretary and a former leading cabinet minister.

Alun Cairns and Lord Heseltine along with business and local authority leaders will go over the business case for what's known as the Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

Michael Heseltine, who was a cabinet minster in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, was born in Swansea.

Credit: PA, Ben Birchall

With discussions at an advanced stage, today’s challenge session is about putting the business case for the City Deal under the microscope so we are absolutely clear about expectations.

It is hugely helpful to have an expert in regeneration projects like Lord Heseltine to help with the task. He has years of experience in overseeing projects that really breathe new life into communities, and he is well practiced in seeing the vision turn into reality on the ground.

– Alun Cairns MP, Welsh Secretary
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