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Ford Australia to proceed with 250 forced redundancies 


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 Post subject: Ford Australia to proceed with 250 forced redundancies
Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:38 pm 
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As many as 250 of Ford’s Victorian manufacturing workers will be forced out of a job from next week after a recent voluntary redundancy program failed to attract sufficient numbers.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says workers will learn early next week whether they are affected by the forced exits, first outlined by the car maker in February and set to be gradually phased in between June and December.

A total 300 workers, or one-third of Ford’s Victorian manufacturing workforce, will lose their jobs under the broader job shedding plan. So far, only 50 of those have opted for a voluntary redundancy package.

Ford Australia announced the latest round of jobs cuts at its Victorian manufacturing plants in February, citing a pledge to match production with falling demand. The beleaguered car maker has experienced a steady drop in demand for its locally-produced vehicles since it announced it would shuts its car making facilities in May last year.

Sales of the locally-produced Ford Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory fell from 54,087 sales in 2009, to 29,550 sales in 2013. In recent months, sales have steadied at about 1700 units per month.

A survey conducted by the union last November showed 96 per cent of Ford workers hoped to stay with the car marker until it closed its Victorian operations in 2016.

Ford Australia spokesman Wes Sherwood said the car maker was doing everything it could to assist workers and their families.

“Out of respect to the workers, we have nothing more to say about these redundancies announced in February,” he said.

The forced redundancies follow attempts from the company to adjust production to its slowing sales.

Last year, 750 of Ford’s 1200 manufacturing employees were stood down on half-wages during planned shutdown days, with the option of topping up their salaries using annual leave entitlements

Sherwood ruled out any immediate job cuts beyond the 300 already announced. Ford is expecting a sharp spike in local sales to coincide with the release of the updated Falcon and Territory variants in November. It hopes that with the surge in demand it will forego any need for further job cuts, ahead of its car making operations winding down in October 2016. Ford will retain its position as Australia’s largest R&D automotive employer thereafter, employing about 1100 people in its capacity as a global design and engineering centre. It will continue to sell imported cars in Australia.

The job cuts come in the same month that Ford launched the final ever version of its revered GT Falcon, the FPV GT-F.




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