(MENAFN - AFP) Ford is set to cut 1,500 jobs at two plants in Britain in the latest European restructuring move after it shut down a plant in Belgium, a union said Thursday.
Around 500 jobs will be lost at Southampton on the south coast of England where Transit vans are made, and 1,000 workers at Dagenham near London will also lose their jobs, the GMB union said.
The workforce has been reduced over the years, as production slumped from 66,000 vehicles in 2008 to 28,000 last year after the plant moved to single shift operation.
On Wednesday the US auto giant shut its factory in the Belgian city of Genk with the loss of 4,300 jobs.
Lawmaker John Denham, who represents Southampton for the opposition Labour party, said ahead of the news that it would be "devastating" if the factory shut.
"Huge numbers of families would be affected. It would also be very bad for the UK motor industry," he told the BBC.
"Obviously, we hope it's not true but it would be devastating if it closed, there are hundreds of jobs that depend directly on the plant and many others in the local economy.
"Southampton is the only place that still makes complete Ford vehicles of any type in the UK."
Ford employs around 11,400 workers in Britain at component plants including Dagenham in Essex in southeast England, Halewood on Merseyside in northwest England and Bridgend in south Wales.