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Ford Australia back to work on Wednesday

Broken the deadlock: Workers at stricken parts supplier CMI are now able to return to work, meaning Ford can restart its production lines on Wednesday.

Landlord agrees to release keys to factory of stricken Ford supplier CMI

Ford logo27 Apr 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

FORD production workers at the Geelong and Broadmeadows factories will be back at work on Wednesday, after a deal negotiated between the receivers of stricken parts supplier CMI and its landlord, who changed the locks a week ago in a dispute over unpaid rent.

The Blue Oval ran out of parts on Thursday as the dispute rolled on, meaning it had to halt production of its Falcon and Territory and temporarily stand down 1800 workers.

Ford Australia public affairs director Sinead Phipps told GoAuto she understood that CMI workers will return to work on Monday, enabling Ford to re-open its production lines on Wednesday.

“By the time they build the parts and get them to us, Wednesday would be perfect,” she said.

Whether CMI will be able to continue supplying Ford with parts long term is not yet known, but Ms Phipps said the reopening of its factory would keep Ford’s production lines running while the receivers assessed CMI’s business and decided its future.

 center imageCMI went into administration at lunchtime on Thursday, when Ford appointed McGrathNicol as receivers and managers and the directors of CMI appointed Grant Thornton as voluntary administrators.

Ms Phipps said it was understood that the agreement to release the keys and reopen the factory was made just before the receivers and landlord were scheduled to go into their federal court hearing at 3pm on Friday.

The Ford plants at Broadmeadows and Geelong in Victoria were already scheduled for a rostered day off on Monday but the company brought forward two scheduled down days, enabling affected workers to receive half pay on the Friday and Tuesday, with the option of topping that up with annual leave.

Ms Phipps said some shipments of cars to dealers would be affected by the stoppages.

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