White-collar anger over pay could escalate into strike action at Ford


Ford managers across the UK are to vote on whether to engage in strike action.

Around 500 managers are to be balloted by Unite in protest at the company’s pay proposal and what the union says is the car maker’s refusal to negotiate within the terms outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

The voting period concludes on May 30.

Unite said the decision to ballot for strike action arose after Ford declined to enhance its pay offer and rejected its request to participate in discussions mediated by the conciliation service ACAS.

Ford managers, who only gained union recognition in 2023, have been presented with a performance-related bonus scheme as part of their compensation package which does not guarantee an adjustment for the cost of living.

Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham criticised Ford’s stance, pointing to Ford’s substantial profits and urged the business to make a fair and unconditional pay offer.

Ford’s financial report for 2023 revealed a net income of $4.3 billion and revenues of $176bn, marking an 11.4% increase. The adjusted EBIT for the same period amounted to $10.4bn, with an estimated adjusted EBIT for 2024 ranging between $10bn to $12bn.

The managers affected are employed at Ford facilities nationwide, including Dunton, Stratford, Dagenham, Daventry, and Halewood.

Unite’s national officer Alison Spencer-Scragg accused Ford of disregarding the recognition agreement signed with Unite the previous year and attempting to bypass collective bargaining by imposing a pay offer based on a bonus system that its managers have rejected twice.

She warned that unless Ford engages in meaningful negotiations with Unite, the dispute is likely to escalate.

Unite has previously issued warnings to Ford on the possibility of strikes across its UK sites involving white-collar workers unless the company engages in negotiations.

Speaking to AM, a spokesperson at Ford said: “Ford is willing to continue dialogue on the fair and balanced offer made and to offer any clarification required.  We look forward to building on our success in the UK as Ford transforms its business in Europe.



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