More pain for Ford’s Australian workers

Ford will slash another 400 jobs from its remaining Australian workforce, years after shutting down local car production.

Photo: AAP/David Crosling

Photo: AAP/David Crosling

The US carmaker said most roles will be axed from a Geelong product development and design site.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s Vince Pepi said voluntary redundancies would take effect in September.

“Approximately 350 of those (job losses) being white-collar workers and 50 to 45 being blue-collar workers,” Pepi said.

“We understand this news will be difficult for many workers and their families and we want to ensure they have all the resources they need.”

Ford said the cuts were part of a global bid to “improve efficiency” and shift operations towards future needs.

Currently, 1800 workers are employed by the company in Australia.

Victorian Jobs and Manufacturing Minister Ben Carroll said the state government would support Geelong’s Ford workers.

“It’s always difficult when anyone loses a job – it can be one or it could be 10 or it could be 50,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s always felt very hard by those families in those communities.

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“I have every confidence that we’ll find solutions for these workers and be able to do tailor-made solutions to support them going forward.”

Geelong Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jeremy Crawford said there must be a focus on keeping workers in the region by helping them find jobs in other industries like advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.

“Not only will it affect the workers but it will certainly affect some of the local retailers and particularly some of the wider communities these people live in,” Crawford said.

Ford manufactured cars in Geelong and the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows until October 2016.

In 2019 Ford cut a further 100 jobs in Victoria as the company moved some engineering work to the United States.

Development of the Ranger and Everest models will remain in Australia.

-with AAP

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