Three hundred Ford workers in Victoria will become jobless beginning in May and run through the end of the year when the automaker axes their posts through redundancies due to declining demand for vehicles. The soon-to-be affected workers are deployed at the Geelong and Breadmeadow manufacturing facilities.
Ford spokesperson Wes Sherwood said the unions and its manufacturing partners were informed on Thursday of the looming job cuts as Ford reduces production of its Falcon and Ford Territory by one-third.
With the cut, production of the two models would dwindle to 80 in June from the current 133 per day. Until then, Ford will continue to employ more than 1,500 skilled workers in the areas of design, engineering, marketing, sales and service. Beyond 2016, national dealership of over 200 dealers would continue after the closure of the Ford Australian manufacturing facilities.
Ford Australia is scheduled to close in 2016, and if the 300 affected workers would have kept their jobs until then, they would have been made redundant. Up to 96 per cent of present Ford workers want to remain with the company until the end, according to a recent survey.
Mr Sherwood admitted compulsory redundancy is always tough and added Ford is not discounting the possibility that more workers would join the ranks of unemployed before 2016.
Commenting on the job losses, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that it is regrettable, but Australians must view the whole employment picture of the country and not just a few aspects of its.
"Any job losses are deeply regrettable," he said, but added that the overall Australian economy is strong, citing the creation of 3,500 jobs with the plan of supermarket giant Coles to invest $360 million in building and upgrade new stores in Victoria.
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