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Ford workers protest over Genk plant closure

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - 01:16

Nov.07 - Belgian Ford workers protest against plant closure outside the motor company's European headquarters in Germany over the announced closure of the Genk plant in eatern Belgium, employing 4,300 workers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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++ROUGH-CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION++ Ford employees arrived by the bus load to express their anger about the planned closure by the end of 2014. Demonstrators blocked the entrance to the plant and threw fire crackers. Ford say it may be forced to scrap other plants and lay off more workers as the euro zone debt crisis continues to exacerbate the auto sector's overcapacity. The situation in European markets remains "very volatile", Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said at a conference in Berlin on Wednesday, two weeks after the company announced it was cutting 6,200 jobs and production capacity in the region. The second largest U.S. car maker said last month it will shutter a British van factory in Southampton and an associated stamping plant in 2013, and close down a bigger site in Genk, Belgium the following year. Ford's chief also said the company is done for now with restructuring plans, but will continue to monitor European markets to gauge whether further action might be necessary, adding that economic prospects will be the main parameter. The European cutbacks at Ford are expected to generate savings of $500 million annually by 2015, the year when the U.S. car maker aims to achieve regional profitability. Ford, which posted a $468 million European loss in the third quarter, expects to lose a combined $3 billion in the region in 2012 and 2013.

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Ford workers protest over Genk plant closure

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - 01:16