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Ford to shut Welsh plant, 1,700 jobs at risk

LONDON: Ford will shut its engine plant in Wales next year, costing about 1,700 jobs, america auto massive introduced Thursday in an extra blow to Britain's embattled automobile sector suffering with Brexit uncertainty and a global race to satisfy rising call for for electric automobiles.

The head of Ford's Europe division, Stuart Rowley, mentioned in an organization commentary that "changing customer demand and cost disadvantages" had contributed to creating the Bridgend facility in south Wales "economically unsustainable in the years ahead" and that it could shut in late 2020.

Ford insisted that america staff remained "committed to the UK, where it continues to be the passenger and commercial vehicle sales leader".

Len McCluskey, normal secretary of Britain's biggest union Unite, called the announcement "a grotesque act of economic betrayal".

He called upon the British government and devolved Welsh meeting to lend a hand struggle the closure and "prevent yet another grave injury to UK manufacturing".

The news is an extra blow to the British automobile sector amid heightened uncertainty over the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. It comes additionally as gross sales of diesel vehicles plummet with customers more and more switching to greener electric automobiles.

In fresh months, Honda introduced plans to shut its plant in central England in 2021, while fellow Japanese car-maker Nissan reversed a decision to construct its new X-Trail car at its facility in the northeast.

Jaguar Land Rover, owned via Tata Motors, may be dropping jobs in Britain.

The job cuts introduced Thursday come on best of Ford's announcement final month to awl 7,000 jobs worldwide -- 10 consistent with cent of its international salaried staff -- as part of a reorganisation plan.

Ford mentioned it could take a success of about $650 million (577 million euros) from the Welsh shutdown.

The US auto massive has operated the plant in Bridgend, west of Cardiff, for decades and is one of the region's primary employers.

The closure may be set to affect many corporations that supply items and services to the power.

"We're hugely shocked by today's announcement, it's a real hammer blow for the Welsh economy and the community," mentioned Jeff Beck, regional organiser for the GMB union.

"Regardless of today's announcement, GMB will continue to work with Ford, our sister unions and the Welsh government to find a solution to the issue and mitigate the effects of this devastating news."

Beck mentioned the inside track was made worse coming in the similar week that US President Donald Trump was in Britain talking up a long term post-Brexit trade deal between the 2 international locations.

"When the plant closes, the new line is likely to be produced in Mexico by an American company," the union leader added.

"So much for the special relationship, Mr Trump."

Ford has another engine plant in Dagenham, southeast England, and a site that makes transmissions in Liverpool in the northwest.

Meanwhile Unite leader McCluskey, a key best friend of leftist Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, blamed each the corporate and the British government for treating its workers "abysmally".

"They could do so because the fact remains that it is cheaper, easier and quicker to sack our workers than those in our competitor countries," he mentioned.

Carwyn Jones, Welsh Assembly Member for Bridgend and a former leader of the devolved Welsh government, instructed Britain's Press Association the layoff plan was "very sudden".

"There was no warning about this at all," he mentioned.

"I want to know what's going on... and want to know a reason for the decision."

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