Ford has welcomed today's (1/12/00) announcement by its trade unions that employees on the Dagenham Estate have voted against taking industrial action over the ending of vehicle production there.

The company says the 'actions' announced on 12 May after its extensive European Business Review are not only essential for its long term viability and success in Europe, but are also vital for the future of the Dagenham site. Vehicle production at Dagenham will end by the first-quarter of 2002 and a $US600 million investment will be made in the sprawling site, east of the city of London, over the next five years.

The $US600 million includes $US500 million investment in diesel engine engineering and manufacturing, including the construction of a high technology diesel engine assembly facility - the first major building at Dagenham in 30 years.

"Ford fully accepts its responsibility to minimise the impact on both its employees and the local community arising from the cessation of vehicle production," a spokesman said.

"All job reductions at Dagenham are intended to be on a voluntary basis. The separation packages being offered to employees, plus the extensive support programme proposed for employees and the local community, are industry-leading.”

On 12 October Ford announced a decrease in the number of voluntary redundancies at Dagenham Vehicle Operations from the 1,900 originally stated in May to 1,300. Total employment on the Dagenham Estate after the first-quarter of 2002 will now be over 5,000 people and the site will remain the London area's largest industrial centre.