Shop stewards at Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry have voted unanimously to oppose owner Ford’s plans to end car assembly there from September 2005.

Ford announced on Friday that production of the XJ sedan and XK sports coupe would be shifted to its S-type plant at Castle Bromwich, along with 425 Browns Lane jobs. Unions vowed to fight the closure and 1100 company-wide ‘voluntary’ redundancies, including 400 at the Coventry plant.

A BBC television news lunchtime report said that union officials have been at the plant on Monday morning, polling workers about their willingness to take some form of industrial action in protest at the planned closure.

“We fully expect workers to want to resist the plans,” one official told the BBC earlier in the day.

The Transport & General Workers’ Union has previously warned it may urge industrial action across all Ford’s UK plants and has accused Ford of failing to honour agreements about the security of the factory, the BBC added.

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“We are not prepared for British workers to be treated as cannon fodder to satisfy American shareholders,” Transport and General Workers’ Union general secretary Tony Woodley told the broadcaster. “We will be consulting our members and giving them leadership to fight for their plants and jobs. It is also likely that we will be consulting with our members across Ford in the UK,” he reportedly added.

Ford-brand car production ended at Dagenham two years ago but Ford still has seven plants in the UK that build engines, Transit vans, Jaguar and Aston Martin cars. Other facilities make components such as plastic bumpers and carry out research and development work.