Ford, perhaps somewhat remarkably, escaped lightly from the
reaction to news that its Halewood plant in Liverpool faces an uncertain
future and the immediate loss of 1,300 jobs. Three negative articles in
the Guardian posed questions over the quality of management decisions,
accusing them of giving ’conflicting signals’ to the workforce. In
contrast, the FT praised Ford for ’playing a significant part’ in the
revival of Britain’s motor industry with pounds 3.5 billion of
investment over six years.
The story quickly became a political football with John Major briefed to
back Ford at the dispatch box for ’investment in Jaguar worth 5,000
jobs’ and Ken Clarke putting his Hush Puppies in it once again by saying
’you can’t win them all’. The conclusion of most writers was that the
axe fell at Halewood because it is cheaper to sack a British worker than
his German or Spanish counterpart and that Halewood has been under
threat since the day it first opened to build the Anglia in 1963.
Evaluation and analysis by Carma International.
Cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers
Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.