Ford summons Genk unions, fueling closure fears - AutoNews
October 22, 2012 13:42 CET
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. called an emergency meeting with unions at its car plant in Genk, Belgium, amid mounting expectations that the automaker is preparing to close the factory.
Ford has summoned staff representatives to a meeting with European executives on Wednesday without providing an agenda, union officials said on Monday.
"No one is allowed to tell us anything," said an official with the ABVV Metaal union. "We're assuming it will be a very serious announcement."
A Ford spokesman declined to comment on the meeting or its purpose. "We will not comment on discussions with our unions," he said.
The plant in Genk, eastern Belgium, employs 4,300 workers to build the Mondeo mid-size car and Galaxy and S-Max minivans. All three models are approaching the end of their current life cycles.
Unions in Genk had said last month they were more optimistic about the plant's future after Ford set a date to start production of the new Mondeo next October.
According to sources with knowledge of production plans, however, Ford is prepared to wind down the facility and build the Mondeo elsewhere. The tentative start date is not a reprieve for Genk, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the plans were confidential.