Ford in Bridgend - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:24 pm on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:24 pm, 10th June 2019

My Lords, first, I acknowledge the massive role that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Morris, had in the establishment of the Bridgend plant, very close to his former constituency of Aberavon. I agree with him that the supply chain is important. I have no specific figures on that, but it is not just the supply chain; the broader economy suffers in a situation such as this. The unemployment rate in Bridgend is very close to the national average—I think it is marginally above—but this is clearly an important situation.

I have no specific knowledge of redundancy legislation in Spain and Mexico, but I will write to the noble and learned Lord, if I may. As for trade union relations with Ford, Ford’s treatment of workers in previous job situations has been fair. I do not want to talk it up too much, but it has been fair. I know that that will be very much on the mind of the task force. I am also confident that the Secretary of State will want to talk to the noble and learned Lord about his experience of Ford, and I hope that he is available, as I am sure that that would be helpful going forward.