Ford Australia To Cut Jobs In Geelong And Broadmeadows From May Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Feb, 06 2014 | 14 Comments

Ford Australia will terminate around 300 jobs at its Geelong and Broadmeadows plants in Victoria from May through until the end of 2014, the carmaker and the Australian Manufacturing Worker's Union (AMWU) have confirmed.

Speaking with AAP today, Ford Australia communications boss Wes Sherwood said the company briefed workers and union representatives this morning.

The forced redundancies, which would have otherwise come when Ford's Australian manufacturing operations close in 2016, are a result of reduced demand for Ford's locally produced models.

"We are continuing to match production with demand and that will mean we are reducing production by about a third in June with related job losses," Mr Sherwood told AAP.

Falcon sales continue to dwindle, with just 461 sold in January this year, compared to 778 in January last year. Territory sales have also dropped off, falling 41.3 percent to 681 units in January.

An exact number of lost jobs is still to be confirmed, but Mr Sherwood said it will be "about 300" positions.

AMWU spokesperson Dave Smith told ABC News this afternoon that the news of falling sales and lost jobs "is not completely surprising", given Ford's announcement in 2013 that it will exit Australian manufacturing by 2016.

"It's not totally unexpected but it's certainly very disappointing."

The news also follows confirmation in August last year that Ford Austrlia had begun to slow-down production, at the time blaming changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax.

Mr Smith said that a recent survey of the AMWU membership found that 98 percent want to stay with Ford "until the end".

"Quite clearly this will be a difficult time and it will involve compulsory redundancy and that's always tough," he told the ABC.

He added that the workers will get their full entitlements when their positions end this year.

Ford's announcement last year that it would end Australian manufacturing came with news that 650 jobs would be lost at the Broadmeadows plant, along with 510 in Geelong.

Holden has since also announced it will end Australian production by 2017, leaving Toyota as Australia's only major automotive manufacturer.

MORE: Ford Australia Announces Production To End 2016
MORE: Ford CEO Alan Mulally Commits To Australian Ford Engineering Role

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