Ford’s India factory workers seek government help to safeguard jobs as exit looms


CHENNAI, India — Factory workers at Ford Motor Co.’s southern Indian plant near Chennai city have sought the state government’s help to safeguard jobs that will be lost once the carmaker stops production, workers and union leaders said.

Last week, Ford said it would stop making cars in India, taking a hit of about $2 billion to end years of unprofitable operations in a market that once promised exponential growth but that has disappointed.

The U.S. automaker will wind down operations at its factory in Sanand in the western state of Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in its southern Indian plant in Chennai by 2022, potentially laying off up to 4,000 employees.

The sudden announcement by Ford will put at risk the livelihoods of more than 2,600 permanent workers and over 1,000 contract staff, union members said.

“Thousands of workers are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of Ford’s decision to shut its Chennai factory,” the Chennai Ford Employees Union said in a Saturday letter addressed to Tamil Nadu state minister T M Anbarasan.

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