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Ford shutdown averted

Back to work: 400 engine plant workers at Ford were stood down today.

Ford resumes normal production tomorrow as parts supplier goes back to work

Ford logo23 Apr 2007

By MARTON PETTENDY

A FULL-SCALE plant closure at Ford Australia was averted this morning when workers at troubled Victorian components supplier Coghlan and Russell Engineering accepted a rescue package and went back to work.

As previously reported, Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows assembly plant ceased V8 Falcon production last Monday and both Territory and Falcon production was threatened from Thursday, following the failure of a meeting to shore up the cash-strapped Geelong auto parts company last week.

In the end, however, Ford stood down just 400 workers at its Geelong engine plant today after rearranging production schedules. They will return to work tomorrow following the Coughlin and Russell workers’ 10.00am decision to accept a million-dollar offer by Ford and Delphi, the company’s two largest customers.

27 center image"The Coughlin & Russell workers accepted our offer to provide trading capital for the next 60 days," said Ford spokeswoman Sinead McAlary.

"That will allow the administrator time to determine what needs to be done with the business, obviously with the ultimate goal of rehabilitating it and potentially offering it for sale if there are buyers." Asked if the same situation would emerge in two months’ time, when funds made available by Ford and Delphi are exhausted, Ms McAlary said: "Hopefully not.

"Everyone’s on board to keep the business operating if we can. If the company does remain viable, we have committed to keeping it as a supplier." C&RE supplies Ford with 37 different vehicle parts, including a V8 engine damper, but rising debts following slower sales of Ford’s large Australian-built models saw the firm cease production and axe its 49-strong workforce last week.

It’s understood workers still face the loss of $521,000 in entitlements, including eight months of unpaid superannuation.

Read more: Ford to close its doors


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