Union says Ford cutting 1,500 UK jobs

LONDON -- A union representing Ford workers says the company will cut 1,500 jobs in Britain, closing a transit van plant in Southampton and eliminating a stamping and tooling facility in east London.

The Unite union said Thursday that it had been informed that Ford intended to close the Southampton plant by 2013. It is the only remaining Ford vehicle assembly plant in Britain.

The union says Ford also confirmed that the Panther diesel engine will be built at the Dagenham plant in east London.

Ford has 11,500 employees in the United Kingdom.

The announcement came a day after Ford said it planned to close a car plant in eastern Belgium by the end of 2014, a move that would result in 4,500 direct job losses and 5,000 more among subcontractors.