Ford talks in Brentwood break down again

A nationwide Ford strike could be imminent after talks between union leaders and Ford management in Warley collapsed as a protest was held outside the company’s headquarters this week.

Unite union convenors from all seven UK plants met for a second time at the company’s Eagle Way HQ on Tuesday to discuss plans to change the way pension inflation is calculated – which the union says will cost workers thousands of pounds.

After the meeting, Dagenham stamping plant convenor Mark Stephens said an offer had been made by Ford, but it was a “million miles” from what the union had hoped for.

He said: “I can’t reveal today what the offer was, but I can say that we are certainly not going to accept it.

“We will report to the stewards’ committees at the plants tomorrow with a view to balloting 11,000 workers.”

About 60 angry pensioners braved wet weather to protest outside the building.

Unite members and pensioners oppose Ford’s plans to tie future pension increases to the Consumer Price Index instead of the Retail Price Index (RPI).

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They are also angry that workers who retired before 1997 have not seen any increase in their monthly pension for six years.

Protester Jim Brinklow, 68, said: “They’re hiding behind the government, saying that they’ve got to bring in the RPI changes.

“The rules are there but they don’t have to follow them.

“They’re just hiding behind them.”

The Warley office employs more than 700 workers and the nearby Dunton plant employs more than 2,000.

Nationally there are 11,000 Ford employees.

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