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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Ford says 'no debate' over Jaguar
More than 400 jobs are due to go at the Jaguar plant
Ford has said there will be no debate over the decision to end production at Jaguar's Browns Lane plant in Coventry.

Ford Europe's Executive Vice-President, Mark Fields, met with Coventry MPs Bob Ainsworth and Jim Cunningham in Paris on Wednesday.

They had gone to France with Jaguar workers and unions to lobby its parent company over the future of the plant outside the Paris Motor Show.

In a statement Jaguar said it has no alternative to its current plans.

'Not negotiable'

The group went to Paris, where Ford were launching new models, in the hope of putting pressure on the firm to change plans announced last Friday, which will lead to 1,150 job losses across the company.

But Mr Ainsworth said the Ford executive told him the matter was not open for debate.

He added: "We put to him face to face that he had an obligation to discuss his proposals with the workforce.

"He effectively said he didn't. (He said) 'the company has problems. We are management. It's not negotiable.'"

We've started our campaign. The fight back starts here
Des Quinn, Transport and General Workers Union

A statement from Jaguar following Wednesday's meeting said it considers its current business situation to be unsustainable and it has no alternative to the package of measures announced last week.

It says Mr Fields went out of his way to meet with the MPs.

Des Quinn from the Transport and General Workers Union did not think the day had been wasted.

He said: "We've started our campaign. The fight back starts here."

Union members at Browns Lane voted earlier in the week to support a ballot for industrial action to save the plant.

Under the measures there would be 400 voluntary redundancies and 425 jobs would be moved to the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham.

Jaguar will also lose 750 mostly white-collar staff as back office work is merged with Land Rover.

The plan will leave just 310 jobs at Browns Lane, with workers making wood finishes for Jaguar models.

'Good start' to Jaguar campaign
22 Sep 04  |  Coventry/Warwickshire
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20 Sep 04  |  Business
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17 Sep 04  |  England
Jaguar ends car making in Coventry
17 Sep 04  |  Business

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