Ford to lay off thousands, close plants across Europe


Ford to lay off thousands, close plants across Europe

Will Morrow

11 January 2019

In the latest stage of the global auto giants’ intensifying assault on workers, Ford Motor Company announced on Thursday that it will slash “thousands” of jobs in Europe as part of a continent-wide restructuring.

The announcement follows by just over a month General Motors’ announcement that it plans to close five plants across the United States and Canada, destroying almost 15,000 jobs. The Detroit-based automaker said it would shut another two, yet unspecified, plants located outside of North America. Yesterday, the UK automaker Jaguar confirmed reports from last December that it will slash up to 5,000 jobs, mainly engineering and office positions, as part of a 2.5-billion-pound cost-cutting plan.

In its statement released yesterday from Cologne, Germany, Ford said it plans to drive “profitability across its product portfolio,” and that “structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labor across all functions—salaried and hourly.”

In addition to job cuts, the statement pointed to previously announced “efficiency actions,” including the closure of the Ford Aquitaine Industries plant in Blanquefort, France in August 2019, destroying 800 jobs and another 3,000 indirectly, and a restructuring at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany. It added that it would be conducting a “strategic review” of Ford Sollers, a joint venture in Russia, the results of which would be announced in the second quarter.

The company’s actions are openly aimed at funneling ever greater sums of wealth from workers and their families to Wall Street banks and investment firms and the super-rich shareholders who control them. Ford gives the largest…

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