That’s according to John Scarola, who was head of staff unions at the site before his retirement 13 years ago
Job cuts announced by Ford in the UK will have a “devastating effect”, a former union boss has said.
The car maker has said that around 1,300 jobs will be axed in the UK as it looks to reinvent the brand and focus on a smaller range of electric vehicles.
The loss of around one in five of the 6,500-strong UK workforce forms part of wider plans to scrap around 3,800 jobs in the next three years across Europe.
Ford said that the bulk of the UK job losses will affect the company’s technical centre in Dunton in Essex, where it has about 3,400 workers.
John Scarola, who worked for Ford for 40 years, with 33 of those at Dunton, said he was “devastated” to hear of the planned job cuts.
The 72-year-old, who was head of staff unions at the site before his retirement 13 years ago, said he was confident union reps would negotiate to get the “best deal possible” from the car maker.
“I’m just devastated by it all,” said local Labour councillor Mr Scarola, who represents Laindon Park ward for Basildon Council.
“Even down my road there’s people that work for Ford.
“It’s going to have a devastating effect.
“You know as well as I do if you’ve not got a job you’ve got no wage coming in.
“You can only hope that if they go through with their threat that people are compensated and can carry on.”
He continued: “The problem is because we’re going all electric, it’s going to create new jobs in that field but obviously the old jobs will go.”
He said that “a lot of jobs have gone to Germany and Turkey”.
“You’ve got to realise once Ford have made a decision, we have to go into negotiation,” said Mr Scarola.
“I’m devastated and very disappointed, but the (union reps) we’ve got in place now are very strong people.
“They will negotiate and I’m sure they’ll get the best deal possible and let’s hope we can persuade Ford that we do have a future here.
“But I don’t know what will happen.”
Susanna Caira-Neeson, Labour councillor for Lee Chapel North ward for Basildon Council, said: “It’s a tragic loss for the town, certainly, especially at a time when the cost of living is rising all the time.
“It’s going to be absolutely devastating for those workers involved.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub