Ford workers angry after ‘years of loyalty’

Ford staff speak out as car giant refuses Acas talks

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With Ford showing “corporate greed” by refusing to give salaried staff and managers at UK plants a decent pay rise — and rejecting Unite’s demand for Acas to be involved — Unite members and reps from across the UK speak out.

They are still hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the car giant, and that the company will see sense. But thereps and members UniteLive spoke to preferred to remain anonymous while negotiations are ongoing.

The offer from Ford for its salaried staff comes with many strings attached, including changes to the absence management process and a proposal to change its collective agreement with Unite.

So for the Unite members in dispute this isn’t just an issue about pay, but also about fairness.

One worker told UniteLive, “Staff are extremely disappointed that the company has refused to engage with Acas as they are really keen to avoid a dispute.”

A colleague added, “We cannot believe that the company will not enter into non-binding arbitration with the respected experts, Acas. This feels like a kick in the teeth — the company should share our aims to resolve this.”

Another staff member also struggled to make sense of the company’s position.

“I just cannot understand why Ford is trying to push staff into a ballot – many of us have given years of loyalty to this company,” they said. “My main issue with this offer is the strings that are attached for Ford salaried staff.”

Commenting, Unite national officer Alison Spencer-Scragg added, “Ford staff are understandably frustrated that the company still seems to want to refuse our reasonable offer to seek talks with Acas to resolve this issue.”

“This is a loyal workforce with years of experience working in highly skilled jobs and, given the profits that Ford continues to enjoy, they feel that the offer and the attached strings from the company, are unacceptable,” she went on to say.

“No one wants to ballot for industrial action, but if Ford fails to accept our demands for independent arbitration through Acas we will be left with no choice.”

By Keith Hatch