Category: Companies / October 25, 2012 3:15 PM EDT
Angry factory workers blocked the entrance of the Ford assembly plant in Genk on Thursday to protest against plans to close the plant. Ford announced on Wednesday to close its factory in the Flemish town of Genk and transfer the manufacturing plant in Spain instead.
The closure means that 4,300 workers at the plant will lose their jobs. It will also affect another 5,000 employees working as subcontractors in the region. Shocked and angry workers set a car on fire on Wednesday evening and have kept it burning since.
Belgian politicians are also angry, since one year ago Ford had offered the Flemish government perspectives to develop new models at the plant. Executives at Ford said declining car sales and the company’s production capacity were the main reasons behind the controversial decision.
Thursday’s announced closures end vehicle manufacturing by Ford in Britain and bring its total job cuts to 6,200. This reduces European production capacity by 18% to save $450-500 million a year.