Unions at a British Ford van factory have accused their own members of wanting the plant to shut, the BBC reported.

Shop stewards of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and other unions at the Transit factory in Southampton, on England's south coast, are critical of what they regard as a lack of action by workers to save their car plant and jobs, the BBC said.

The unions have warned members that the van plant, which builds only a proportion of the Transit variants sold in Europe, is making a loss and may be closed due partly to worker disinterest.

Only eight of 250 improvements promised have been delivered, union leaders told the BBC.

The BBC also said that a letter from the TWGU and other unions warned that a large percentage of the 2,000 workforce would "rejoice" if the plant closed.

That letter said officials had tried to arrange a meeting with members but that workers would not attend.

Officials criticised what they called the "misplaced apathy" of employees and said time was running out for the factory, the BBC reported.