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Visteon: Ford makes offer
Hundreds of former employees of Visteon/Ford marched on 2 April from their union Unite's HQ in London to Parliament to demand pensions justice.
It was the fifth anniversary of Visteon going into administration, which closed the remaining plants.
This was followed by a heroic struggle by the 600 sacked workers which won enhanced redundancy.
This proved to be an inspiration for the campaign that was then waged by 3,000 ex-workers who were robbed of parts of their pensions when Visteon went bust in 2009.
Since then the Visteon Pensions Justice Action Group has campaigned tirelessly for the parent company, Ford, to live up to its obligations to the workers.
This has been backed up by a legal claim by Unite against Ford which is due to be heard in court in November.
But the pensioners will be hoping that this will be the last time they need to march. At last Ford has made an offer of compensation.
It is a victory in itself to force such a giant multi-national corporation to put something on the table.
The march was a success with hundreds gathering from former plants in Swansea, Belfast, Enfield and Basildon.
The rally outside Unite HQ was chaired by ex-Swansea convener and NSSN chair Rob Williams. The former Belfast convener John Maguire spoke, along with Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Bethan Jenkins, Unite officials and other Visteon workers. At Parliament, they were met by MPs who had supported the campaign.
At the start and end of the march, a minute's applause was given in memory of those members who had passed away over the five years.
Rob Williams said: "This is the human side to this story. People have died in the time that Ford has dragged their feet.
"We welcome the offer and thank our union and our general secretary Len McCluskey for Unite's support.
"This offer doesn't cover what we've lost or what we deserve but it is a testament to the incredible struggle that the pensioners have put up, inspired by the great fight of the sacked workers in 2009."
There will now be meetings in all four areas for Unite members to consider the offer.
- Ford created Visteon in 2000 when it 'spun-off' its component manufacturing plants. The workers were convinced to transfer their pension into the new Visteon scheme after Ford made the infamous Ford/Visteon Separation Agreement which guaranteed 'lifetime protection' for terms and conditions and pensions.
In The Socialist 9 April 2014:
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