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Hundreds of Ford India workers protest over planned plant closure By Reuters


© Reuters. Ford Motor Co. workers protest outside Ford’s engine-making and car assembly plant in Sanand (Gujarat, India), September 21st, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave

By Amit Dave

SANAND, India (Reuters) – Hundreds of workers at a Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co factory in India’s western Gujarat state protested outside the automaker’s plant on Tuesday, demanding that the factory’s closure plan be scrapped or workers be provided other jobs.

Blue-suited workers protested outside Ford’s engine-making and car-manufacturing facility in Gujarat’s Sanand. They claimed that the planned closure of the plant at the end of the year would result in their losing their jobs.

“After seven years working here, I suddenly get told I don’t have any job. Where is my future? Anil Singh Jhala was one of the workers.

“The government and company should not close the plant,” he said. We asked the government to grant us priority to work there at the same wages if the plant is shut down.

Once upbeat on emerging markets including India, major automakers have recently been shutting up shop in the country due to stagnating sales. Ford, which built its first factory in India in the 1990s, said earlier this month it planned to stop making cars in the country and take a $2 billion hit as it does not see itself making profit in the country.

According to a Ford India spokesperson, the plant is home to around 1,200 workers.

“We will collaborate with unions and other stakeholders in order to reduce the effects and provide support for people who are directly affected,” he said. We have already begun discussions with the union, and we have nothing to add.

“We have started discussions with the union and have nothing additional to share,” said Jaisukh Kandolia, an employee at the Ford plant. The country’s recent string of automaker exits has exacerbated its unemployment crisis. This is a significant challenge for Narendra Modi, who was elected in 2014. He promised that he would create jobs.

Jaisukh Kandolia, a Ford employee since 2016, said that “we are shocked since the announcement.”

He said, “We were told that the plant would be closing by December 31.” We don’t know what the future holds.

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