Ford U.K. Managers Threaten Work-to-Rule in Pay Dispute

Workers and management "angry" at pay offer while automaker announces huge profits.

Paul Myles, European Editor

June 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Ford Of Britain Plant
Ford's U.K. production threatened in pay dispute.

Managers of Ford production facilities in the U.K. are calling for industrial action over pay and conditions against a background of bumper profits for the automaker.

The Unite union says hundreds of workers in the Dunton, Stratford, Dagenham, Daventry and Halewood plants are angry at Ford’s approach to pay negotiations. Company managers at these sites say they are committed to taking industrial action later this month.

Unite says the workers have overwhelmingly rejected Ford’s pay offer of only a performance-related merit award, which they are not guaranteed to receive. The union claims the dispute is being exacerbated by Ford’s refusal to enter into meaningful negotiations, including with the U.K.’s independent conciliation organization, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), even though the workers achieved union recognition in 2023.

The union point to Ford’s reported full-year net global income of $4.3 billion on revenues of $176 billion for 2023, an increase of 11.4%.

Workers at the five British plants and other Ford sites across the country say they will begin working to rule and refusing overtime on 14 June in a bid to hit all of Ford’s U.K. operations. Strike action may be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, says: “Not content with making billions in profits, Ford has decided to try and attack our members’ pay out of sheer corporate greed.

“Performance-related payments give no guarantee of an actual pay rise and leave these workers in danger of facing cuts to their wages. They are absolutely right to take industrial action and they have the full support of Unite in doing so.”

Responding to a request for comment from WardsAuto, Ford says in a statement: “We regret that it has resulted in this outcome considering the fair and balanced offer made and the competitiveness of and benefits package. We will continue to engage with Unite and our employees and endeavor to resolve the matter.”

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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