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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Ford workers in Belgium react to plant closing

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Ford workers react on Wednesday, Oct. 24, after European Ford management announced it would close the Ford plant in Genk, Belgium at the end of 2014.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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The move will result in 4,500 direct job losses and 5,000 more among subcontractors.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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A Ford worker reacts after hearing the news. The U.S. car maker also called a meeting with unions in Britain for Thursday, raising fears another plant closure was on the way.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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Workers leave the Ford assembly plant after an emergency meeting with the plant management in Genk Oct. 24. Ford is trying to stem losses in Europe and match capacity to tumbling demand.


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Belgium’s Flemish Region President Kris Peeters attends a meeting with union members in Brussels Oct. 24, 2012. Ford is consolidating production of its new mid-sized models in an underused factory in Valencia, Spain, where wages are lower.


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A worker, centre, smashes a plaque that contains the Ford Motor Co. mission statement with a shovel while another worker looks on in front of the Ford factory in Genk, Belgium on Oct. 24.

Virginia Mayo/AP

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Workers embrace as they react to the news in front of the Ford factory in Genk. European car sales fell in September at their fastest pace of the past 12 months.

Virginia Mayo/AP

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A Ford car is parked to block the exit of the assembly plant. The closing is Europe’s third car factory closure announcement this year.


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The Ford assembly plant is seen beyond a road sign. The European car market has been shrinking due to the EU debt crisis, government spending cuts and rising unemployment.


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A worker’s hard hat reads ‘Crash of the century’ outside the plant. Ford is not alone in suffering the effects of a slumping market: Peugeot started proceedings to close a factory in Aulnay, France, a couple of months ago.

Virginia Mayo/AP

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A man speaks on his cellphone in front of the Ford factory in Genk after the announcement.

Virginia Mayo/AP

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Workers react after the meeting. GM is also planning to shut a factory, in Bochum, Germany, but not until 2016.


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Ford workers react after the announcement in Genk.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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Ford workers embrace outside the plant.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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Stephen Odell, right, chief executive officer of Ford Europe, arrives for a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo in Brussels Oct. 24.


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Even Volkswagen, the region’s biggest car company, reported a 19-per-cent drop in third-quarter operating profit.


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Trash lies abandoned outside the empty Ford assembly plant in Genk after the emergency meeting.


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