Unite workers 'looking for love' from Ford

Strike on cards as Unite slams Ford’s ‘corporate greed’

Reading time: 3 min

Over 3,000 salaried and managerial staff at Ford’s UK sites across the country are threatening to strike if Unite’s call for talks are ignored, the union said on Valentine’s Day (February 14).

The company has been told it must attend negotiations with the conciliation service Acas, or Unite will begin preparing to ballot its members for industrial action. 

Offers put forward to salaried staff and managers based at Ford sites across the country, including Dunton, Stratford, Dagenham, Daventry and Halewood, have been rejected by over 90 per cent by both sets of workers.

The offer for many of the salaried staff is an unconsolidated one-off payment of five per cent of their salary for 2024, meaning their actual wages will not increase this year. 

Management grades, who have recently organised and achieved union recognition, have been offered a performance related bonus payment, which provides no guarantee of a cost-of-living increase. 

In addition, the company has proposed changes to the current absence processes, despite acknowledging there is no issue with staff attendance.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Ford is acting out of corporate greed with its offers of one-off payments and variable bonuses. It is extremely profitable and can fully afford to put forward proper no strings pay offers for these workers.

“Unite does not tolerate attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and Ford’s salaried and managerial staff have their union’s full support.”

Last week, Ford reported a full year net income of $4.3bn on revenues of $176bn – an increase of 11.4 per cent. The adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) for 2023 was $10.4bn, while the outlook for 2024 is an adjusted EBIT of $10bn to $12bn

Following the rejection of the pay offers by Unite’s members, the union requested Ford enter talks mediated by Acas, which the company has refused to do.

Unite national officer Allison Spencer-Scragg said,“Ford’s workforce has rightly rejected these unacceptable pay offers. Anger amongst our members is such that if Ford continues to refuse to attend Acas talks, Unite will have no choice but to begin proceedings to hold a formal ballot for industrial action. I urge Ford to reconsider its position.”

Stay tuned on UNITELIVE after we speak to reps and members at Ford – find out more on Friday.

By Keith Hatch