`Racism’ cloud over future of Dagenham

Rumours of a possible threat to the future of Ford’s Dagenham plant have spread this week, after comments in the press by Ford UK chairman Ian McAllister concerning a continuing dispute over allegations of racism at the site. Workers voted unanimously to hold a ballot on strike action over what they believed to be the […]

Rumours of a possible threat to the future of Ford’s Dagenham plant have spread this week, after comments in the press by Ford UK chairman Ian McAllister concerning a continuing dispute over allegations of racism at the site.

Workers voted unanimously to hold a ballot on strike action over what they believed to be the Ford management’s inaction over racial harassment claims.

`It would be a tragedy if this issue was to upset the way the plant is perceived by Ford’s senior management,’ said McAllister.

His comments sparked an angry response from union members. David Mills, spokesman for the Transport and General Workers Union, said: `This is tantamount to blackmail.’

However, Ford has denied McAllister was suggesting Ford Dagenham’s future is in doubt, and a spokesperson for the company said its main objective is to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

A meeting to resolve the dispute is being set up between Ford chief executive Jac Nasser and Bill Morris, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union.