Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.On Friday reports came in about the car manufacturer’s plans with regard to the Ford engine plant in the area. Ford’s have not confirmed the plans as they are consulting with the unions, but let’s assume that these reports are correct.
So what is being reported is that in a two year period roughly half of the current workforce will be made redundant. It’s not clear whether all of these redundancies will be voluntary. That’s almost a thousand people who will find themselves without a job. They will be affected, their families will be affected, the South Wales area and particularly Bridgend will be affected.
Really the complete plant closure aside this news really could not be worse.
I’ve chatted about the plant since about March 2017 when it’s future became an issue. The workforce have had this hanging over their heads since then. Whilst I do not know people who work there as friends as such I do know some people on an acquaintance basis. One person told me last year that he had been offered voluntary redundancy which he’d turned down but almost instantly regretted because he sensed the atmosphere in the place had changed. I get that. I remember feeling that very sense of foreboding in a call centre I used to work at before it closed down.
The Welsh Labour government has supported the plant through the years only recently in this blog I queried the monies it was giving Ford to support it over Brexit on the grounds that no one really knows what and indeed how Brexit is going to turn out to be. Current First Minister Mark Drakeford has issued what is best described as holding tweets on the issue. His predecessor, Carwyn Jones, who lets not forget is the local Assembly Member has promised to work to continue the plant’s future. Again a bland anodyne statement when politicians should be fighting for the people who actually voted for them.
The Welsh Labour government does not appear to have done any planning for Ford cutting back in Bridgend and it’s effects on the wider area. Neither indeed have the Welsh Labour council. Only a few posts back I chatted how their actions with regard to Bridgend Town should be considered urban manslaughter. Well this decision is hardly going to help the town is it? Let’s assume the majority of the people threatened with redundancy are from the area. They won’t be able to spend as much money on local businesses. They have had two years to deal with a worse case scenario and nothing seems to have been done. Shameful.
The council is cutting services because of the lack of grants from the Labour government. This situation needs to be reviewed. If we assume the redundancies take place then Labour needs to attract new investment and this will not occur if they allow the area to be run down.
I have been made redundant. I can remember the paralysing depression it gave me. I multiply that feeling one thousand times, then multiply the effect on their families.
This is not the greatest of moments folks.
Until the next time.