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Ford workers set to go on a strike over bonuses

Ford Motor Company, an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, is facing potential labor unrest at its local subsidiary in South Africa. The source of contention is the company's decision not to pay out performance bonuses to its employees at the Ford Assembly Plant in Silverton, Pretoria. This plant is significant as it is where the Next-Generation Ford Ranger is being produced for both local and export markets.

The Ford Motor Company employs approximately 6,000 people in South Africa across various sites, including the Silverton plant which began operations in 1926. The Silverton facility underwent a R2.5 billion expansion project between 2012 and 2018 to modernize and expand production capacity for the Ranger model. This investment has made it one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in Africa and the Middle East.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), which represents most of the workforce at the Silverton plant, has announced that it will embark on a protected strike if Ford fails to pay the performance bonuses by March 31, 2023. The union argues that these bonuses are contractually guaranteed and have been paid consistently since 2012.

The potential strike could significantly impact Ford's operations in South Africa as the Silverton plant produces around 70% of the country's total vehicle exports. In 2021, Ford exported 52,000 vehicles from South Africa, making it the largest exporter of vehicles from the country. The plant's production schedule includes various models like the Ranger, Ranger Raptor, and the Everest SUV.

Ford South Africa has stated that it is currently engaging with NUMSA and other stakeholders to find a resolution to this issue. The company has not publicly commented on the reason for withholding the performance bonuses.

In conclusion, Ford Motor Company's decision not to pay performance bonuses to its employees at the Silverton plant in Pretoria, South Africa, has led to potential labor unrest. This could significantly impact Ford's operations in the country, as the plant produces a significant portion of South Africa's vehicle exports and employs around 6,000 people. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has announced plans for a protected strike if the issue remains unresolved by March 31, 2023.

Published 18 days ago

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