Following today’s announcement that Ford intends to close its Bridgend plant, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy and Finance Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has written to the Welsh Economy Minister, UK Government Business Secretary, and European Industry Commissioner to call for an urgent economic summit.
Mr ap Iorwerth said that workers at Ford’s Bridgend plant had given many years of service to the company, and the loss of 1,700 jobs at the plant would represent a bitter blow to Bridgend and the wider Welsh economy.
He added that the closure of the Bridgend plant would also have a devastating effect on the wider supply chain.
In his letter to, Mr ap Iorwerth said that workers should not bear the brunt of instability in the automotive industry and uncertainty caused by Brexit.
He has called for an urgent economic summit involving the Welsh and UK Governments, the European Commission, workers’ representatives and Ford, to find an urgent way forward to ‘protect jobs, investment, and the supply chain.’
In his letter to the Minister, Secretary of State, and Commissioner, Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“It is simply unacceptable to me that we should consider today’s announcement to be a done deal. I cannot stress enough how important this plant is to Bridgend, the surrounding area, and indeed to the Welsh economy, both in terms of jobs and the wider supply chain.
“It is incumbent upon us all to do all we can to seek to find a way to keep the Bridgend plant operational and to maintain the jobs and investment that it represents. In particular, we urgently need to discuss ways of supporting innovation and diversification.
“I would appreciate your urgent confirmation that you are prepared to participate in an urgent economic summit, involving all relevant legislative and government bodies at a Welsh, UK and European level, as well as representatives of the workers, and Ford itself, to discuss these issues and find an urgent way forward which projects jobs, investment, and the supply chain.”