Cllr Denis O'Flynn hits out at Ford's 'treachery' over Dagenham plant closure
PUBLISHED: 18:04 30 October 2012 | UPDATED: 09:41 31 October 2012
Romford councillor Denis O'Flynn, a former employee of Ford's Dagenham, has hit out at the US company's "treachery" in shutting down its stamping plant - a move that will cost 750 jobs.
Cllr O’Flynn (Labour, Heaton), who worked at the factory between 1954 and 1979, told the Recorder: “Quite frankly, no matter how you look at it it’s an act of treachery. Ford’s have made a great deal of money with their factories across the whole of England and Wales.
“They’re looking after self-interest at the expense of the British economy and British workers.”
Before news of the plant’s closure was released, Cllr O’Flynn appeared on BBC Four documentary Ford’s Dagenham Dream, which was broadcast earlier this month.
It was announced last week that the stamping and tool-making facility in Chequers Lane would close next summer.
Unions have responded angrily to the news, which will further downsize the workforce at Ford’s Dagenham – which once stood at £47,000.
“The total number of employees in Dagenham is about 5,000 altogether – a comparatively insignificant number,” said Cllr O’Flynn.
“In the old days, the roads at 7am were blocked with people making their way from Havering to Ford’s. Now it hardly has any impact whatsoever.”
Cllr O’Flynn said he blamed companies for investing in foreign manufacturing and betraying British workers.
“I have nothing against a nation developing its industry,” he said, “but I bitterly resent the fact that anyone should develop at our expense.
“We have produced some of the finest engines and skilled workers in the world. I point the finger of accusation at successive governments – they allowed foreign investment to control our destiny.
“Ford’s at its peak employed 47,000 skilled people and now it is sounding the death knell on operations in the UK.”
Do you live in Havering, and have you been affected by the plant’s closure? Please call the Romford Recorder news desk on 020 8477 3903 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.