212 Ford workers have shown up at work for the last time at the company’s Broadmeadows and Geelong plants today.
As reported by Manufacturers’ Monthly and others yesterday, the workers are among those who didn’t take an offer of voluntary redundancy the company made in July.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said that some of those being sacked had been at the company for over a quarter of a century.
"It will be devastating for them," the AMWU’s Dave Smith told AAP.
Ford has put the need to cut staff down to decreased demand for Falcon sedans and Ford Territory SUVs, and said that this is the first time in 15 years forced redundancies have been necessary.
“Redundancies were offered on a voluntary basis in the first instance, with approximately 118 employees applying,” Sinead Phipps from Ford told News Limited.
“Unfortunately, as we didn't achieve the required number of redundancies voluntarily, the company is moving ahead with a compulsory redundancy program.'”
The company says that extra security will be present as a precaution, but workers won’t be escorted from the site.
News Limited claims that workers requested media not be told about today’s sackings, but were “ambushed by announcements by union officials.”
It has been reported that Ford is not expected to stay in Australia past 2016, when government assistance packages run out.