Workers at Ford Halewood could walk out in row over pay

The Ford site in Halewood
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

Workers at Ford's Merseyside plant are set to join hundreds across the country on strike in a row over pay.

Managers from Ford sites including Halewood, Dunton, Stratford and Dagenham are preparing for industrial action later this month as they are angry at the company's approach to negotiations. Unite the union reported that the workers have overwhelmingly rejected Ford's pay offer of only a performance related merit award, which they are not guaranteed to receive.

The union says the dispute is being exacerbated by what they say is Ford’s refusal to enter into "meaningful" negotiations, including with the independent conciliation service Acas, even though the workers organised and achieved union recognition in 2023. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Not content with making billions in profits, Ford has decided to try and attack our members’ pay out of sheer corporate greed.

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“Performance related payments give no guarantee of an actual pay rise and leave these workers in danger of facing cuts to their wages. They are absolutely right to take industrial action and they have the full support of Unite in doing so.”

Unite pointed to the fact that Ford reported a full year net income of 4.3 billion dollars on revenues of 176 billion dollars for 2023 – an increase of 11.4%.

The workers will begin working to rule and an overtime ban on June 14 and the industrial action will severely impact all of Ford’s UK operations. Strike action could then be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite national officer Alison Spencer-Scragg said: “Ford signed a collective agreement for these workers last year, but since then has caused widespread anger by completely disregarding it. It is completely unacceptable that Ford is trying to impose a corporate performance model that undervalues this key management group’s contribution to the company’s success.

“Workers have organised for a voice surrounding their pay and conditions and expect their union to be treated respectfully through a recognised collective process. This dispute will continue to escalate unless Ford engages in meaningful negotiations, with an intention to reach agreement surrounding the very reasonable resolutions already tabled by Unite.”

A spokesperson for Ford said: "We regret that it has resulted in this outcome considering the fair and balanced offer made and the competitiveness of our LL6 pay and benefits package. We will continue to engage with Unite and our employees and endeavour to resolve the matter."

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