Thousands of workers at two Ford factories voted today (Sunday, January the 31st) to go on strike over pay demands.
Thousands of workers at two Ford factories voted today (Sunday, January the 31st) to go on strike over pay demands. Workers at 20 other Ford plants are to meet tomorrow (Monday, February the 1st to consider strike action.
Before the meetings were held some 10,000 workers downed tools in unofficial protests, suggesting that the dispute could be a long and serious one.
At Swansea today 1,500 workers decided unanimously to strike. At Liverpool so many workers arrived for the meeting that three separate meetings had to be held to fit them all in. Unanimous decisions to strike were reached at all meetings.
The Ford company, after a two year study of wage scales, offered its workers an eight per cent increase. This is in line with Government efforts to gradually reduce pay settlements below the 10 percent line.
But the workers want a far greater increase to bring them into line with wages paid to car workers in other car plants in Britain.
The Ford company is facing a total shutdown which would cost it millions of pounds. Unofficial walkouts in the last few days are reported to have cost half a million (120,000 dollars).
A Ford spokesman said: "We have based our case on sound commercial assessment, and that can hardly change. All we can do now is wait to see the results of the man's meetings."
A union official at Dagenham said: "This time we will not be fobbed off with piecemeal offers. If other car makers can pay reasonable wages then so can Ford."