THE PRESS presented the recent meeting between Jacques Nasser of Ford and Bill Morris of the TGWU as a solution to the problems of racism and bullying at Ford's Dagenham plant. But many workers at Dagenham are left wondering what the deal will mean for them. Ford has agreed to a plan from the unions - the TGWU, AEEU, GMB and MSF - for a 'Diversity and Equality Assessment Review'.
The unions want to ensure that policy statements about equal opportunities are built into every manager's objectives and targets - on recruitment, promotion and corporate image making. A separate working party will spend the next 90 days coming up with more specific proposals.
Shop stewards in the PTA at Dagenham have had a report back about the outcome of the meeting. They are far from happy. 'Morris is out of touch as far as we're concerned,' says one steward. 'At the moment it's a bit of a wait and see situation. We've got a few weeks to sort the issue out. But if things aren't sorted, the ballot is still on as far as we're concerned.'
Workers on the shopfloor are equally unhappy. 'What does this mean for us?' says one. 'All these procedures are fine, but will they really get the foremen off people's backs? They are the ones responsible for the racism and the bullying.'
Meanwhile Sukhjit Parma, who was racially harassed and abused in the engine plant at Dagenham, wants to return to work. But the foreman responsible for the harassment is still at work in the Engine Plant. And the group leader also responsible who was sacked wants his job back. He is to have an appeal soon. How can Sukhjit Parma return to work when those responsible for his racist harassment are still there? Both of them should be sacked, and kept out of Ford.