Socialist Worker

'Ford want it so if your face doesn't fit you're out'

by Helen Shooter
Issue No. 1919

“I’VE WORKED here 25 years. Now Ford want to take away everything we’ve gained.” So said one Land Rover worker at the Solihull plant last week.

Ford, which owns Land Rover, has again threatened to close the factory unless the 8,000 workers accept more changes to working practices.

“The Ford boss has come in and given an ultimatum,” one worker told Socialist Worker. “We had to ‘come up to pace’ and accept the ‘road map’ for the factory.

“They want us to move here, there and everywhere. And there’s the threat of loss of jobs. The shop floor is unhappy. Every time Ford come in they threaten to close the place. People have had enough.

“We’ve seen what’s happened at the other plants. They’ve had new working practices, and there’s still the threat of closure.

“Ford says it wants to ‘protect the business’. People know that doesn’t mean our jobs are secure. Those in here who are 45 years old know in this world that if they lose their jobs there are very minimal jobs out there.

“That’s why we’ve tried to keep some job security at Land Rover. Now Ford want it so if your face doesn’t fit you’re out the door. They want to pick and choose who will go.”

“Officials from the three unions at Land Rover know they will have to fight to win shop floor backing for the radical shake-up,” reported the Evening Mail newspaper.

A workplace ballot is due to start on 20 September.

The union officials argue there is no alternative to the “road map”. Yet just seven months ago Land Rover workers took on Ford with two one-day strikes over pay.

Now Ford is using threats and blackmail to try to force through a new attack on the workforce.

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Article information

Sat 18 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1919
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