UK:Jaguar staff to lobby Ford at motor show
Jaguar staff to lobby Ford at motor show
Jaguar car workers take their fight over the planned closure of the Browns Lane plant in Coventry to France today where they will come face to face with European bosses of the parent company Ford.
The lobby at the launch of the new Ford Focus model at the Paris Motor Show comes at the same time as the Transport & General Workers' Union is clashing with the new Russian boss of the TVR sports car firm in Blackpool. Nikolai Smolenski has been accused of "dirty tricks" ahead of a crucial recognition meeting today.
A delegation of Jaguar workers from Browns Lane will be joined by local MPs Bob Ainsworth and Jim Cunningham in Paris.
"We will take our fight wherever and do whatever it takes to get Ford to reverse their decision. Browns Lane is among the most productive and highest quality car plants in the Ford group and our members there do not deserve to lose their jobs," said Derek Simpson, general secretary of the Amicus union, last night.
Mr Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, argued Ford needed to understand it could not go round unilaterally breaking agreements just "because they've hit a bad patch in the trading cycle".
Meanwhile, Mr Smolenski was criticised ahead of a hearing of the central arbitration committee in Manchester today when the future shape of trade union representation at the car plant will be discussed.
The union request for recognition at TVR pre-dated the takeover by the 24-year-old son of a wealthy Russian banker.
The T&G claims that Mr Smolenski organised a public meeting of the workforce last Friday and pressured staff to put their faith in him rather than the union.
"These anti-trade union tactics, calculated to drive fear into the hearts of the workforce, will do nothing to inspire real trust. We know it is difficult but we would urge our members to hold their nerve," said T&G regional industrial organiser Richie James.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....