How would you feel if your employer was the largest employer in town and it chose to close down its site? What would you do if you were employed by the same employer for the last 10, 20 or 30 years and do not remember what applying for jobs feels like? What would be your chances to secure a new job and does it mean you would have to relocate in order to find a new job?
All these questions must be going through the minds of 1,700 Ford employees who will lose their jobs in 2020, as Ford announced its decision to shut down its site in Bridgend. The Ford Factory in Bridgend opened on 1980 and is considered to be the biggest employer in that area. Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe announced that the decision had “nothing to do with Brexit” and that the reason was costs disadvantages and changing customer demands. Mr Rowley said:
“We are committed to the UK. However, changing customer demand and cost disadvantages, plus an absence of additional engine models for Bridgend going forward make the plant economically unsustainable in the years ahead."
UK Unions warned that they will be resisting the closure, and that the staff will ballot on strike action. In their letter to employees, they said:
“Colleagues, after the devastating news of the proposal to shut our plant, we have arranged for mass meetings on Friday, June 14, 2019, on the morning shift and afternoons, the Friday night shift will be expected to drop back onto either morning or afternoon shift. Times will be communicated this week”
Ford has confirmed that Bridgend employees will be offered enhanced redundancy packages and support in finding a new job. We would of course want to know whether the correct redundancy process will be followed by Ford considering that a significant number of employees will lose their jobs.
In one of our blogs we already discussed the correct procedure for handling redundancies and what an employer should do to avoid unfair dismissal claims. If you still have not seen it, please see the link below:
At Kalra Legal Group we help both employers and employees with handling redundancy situations. If you have any questions about the redundancy process or feel that your employer did not comply with the correct procedure, please give us a call on 0800 8321 554 to have a free consultation with one of our employment law advisors who will be happy to provide you with employment law advice.