Workers at Ford’s car factory in Dagenham, Essex, are expected to have voted for strikes in a ballot that ended last week.
They are members of the Unite union. The ballot result was set to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press.
Ford plans to close the stamping and tooling plant in Dagenham as well as ending production in Southampton, leading to massive job losses—and anger.
The company made £1.3 billion profit in the first three months of this year. Success in North America more than made up for losses in Europe.
Yet it remains determined to throw workers onto the scrapheap.
It has offered staff willing to take voluntary redundancy up to £30,000 less compensation in Dagenham than their colleagues in Southampton.
This adds insult to injury and Unite is right to oppose it. But the danger is that by haggling over redundancy terms it misses an opportunity to lead a real fight against job losses.
Union officers have pointed out that a strike would create severe disruption for Ford.
It could also win solidarity from across the labour movement, and set a precedent for fighting back in an industry blighted by mass redundancies.