Southampton Ford Workers To Strike

Staff at car giant Ford are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay and pensions.

Unite, which represents about 1,200 white collar employees at the carmaker, said the walkout will start at 6am on Monday, affecting sites across the country including Dagenham in Essex, Bridgend in South Wales, Halewood on Merseyside and Southampton.

The union said staff were ''furious'' at plans to close the final salary pension scheme to new starters and lower their rates of pay.

Unite national officer Roger Maddison said:

''Our staff members will not stand by and allow Ford to create a two-tier workforce on pay and pensions. To date Ford has failed to make any genuine attempts to resolve this dispute.

''We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford's final salary scheme to new entrants because we believe ultimately Ford will try to close the entire scheme. Ford must prove that it is committed to the UK by investing in its UK workforce.

"The UK has the best sales in Europe, there's no excuse to attack the terms and conditions of a new generation of Ford staff.

''The company is also refusing to back away from creating a two tier workforce by making new starters work for less money for doing the same job as existing staff. This is totally unacceptable.''

The dispute does not involve production workers.

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