Ford Bridgend plant, women’s pension row, BT office closures: your commercial news round-up

updated on 06 June 2019

Phew, what a week. If you’re tired of seeing Donald Trump and his entire extended family having a jolly time being entertained by the royals, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is a selection of relevant business news stories from the past week:

  • The Ford engine plant in Bridgend, Wales is set to close in September next year with around 1,700 jobs lost. The car company blamed “changing customer demand on cost” and is aiming to relocate some workers to other sites. It comes after Ford cut its Welsh workforce by 1,000 earlier this year, and stats released last week demonstrated the plummet in UK car sales.
  • The row over women’s state pensions has escalated this week as campaigners are taking the government to the High Court for a judicial review. Women born in the 1950s are arguing that the Pension Act 2011, which accelerated pension changes to increase the retirement age from 60 to 65, did not give women enough time to make provisions for coping without the state pension at 60. The Backto60 campaign is seeking repayment of all the pensions people born in the 1950s would have received if they were able to retire earlier.
  • A trial at a Waitrose store in Oxford is allowing customers to bring their own containers to buy produce such as pasta, rice and cereals. It will also include a pick and mix frozen fruit section, wine, beer and washing up liquid refills, and the opportunity for customers to ‘borrow a box’ to take home their shopping for a £5 refundable deposit. Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility for Waitrose, said the chain wanted to "help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way".
  • BT will close 270 of its offices in the UK – around 90% – as it attempts to cut £1.5 billion in costs. It will move out of its central London headquarters but maintain a presence in “key locations” including Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Ipswich and Birmingham. The telecoms company last year announced its plans to cut 13,000 jobs over three years.

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