Ford workers
Unite said the workers being balloted work at the manufacturer's sites in Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood, Dunton and DagenhamReuters

More than 5,000 Ford UK workers are being balloted for strike action in a row over job security and pensions.

According to the trade union Unite, the car giant's hourly paid workforce – who work mainly on the production line across the company's six British sites – are demanding commitments to job security in line with their counterparts in other European Union countries and calling for improvements to the firm's pension scheme.

Unite said the workers being balloted work at the manufacturer's sites in Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood, Dunton and Dagenham.

"Ford workers in the UK are always on the frontline when the company wants to axe staff," said Roger Maddison, a Unite national officer.

"After successive rounds of job cuts including the closure of the Southampton plant, staff now want Ford to make some commitments to job security going forward."

The announcement comes after Ford revealed in 2012 it was to close its production plant in Southampton and the closure of its stamping and tooling facility in Dagenham with a total loss of around 1,400 jobs.

Unite also said Ford told the union in 2010 that it intends to link pension scheme payments to Consumer Price Index inflation, rather than the more generous Retail Price Index.

"The company has a long established practice of negotiating the pay, conditions and working practices of employees with its partner unions in the UK," a spokesman for Ford said.

"In 2011 a two-year agreement was reached and we re-entered discussions in 2013, recognising the priority for industry-leading levels of cost, efficiency and competitiveness.

"This process has been completed for some employees but is still underway between the company and unions for other areas of the workforce. There is nothing further to add regarding these negotiations."