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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/7117

Posted on 1 April 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Support Visteon workers!

200 Visteon car plant workers in Belfast are blockading their factory after the company went into administration today. If they get away with it, over 600 workers in ex-Ford factories in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon will be sacked and left to claim statutory redundancy form the state.

Stop press: Workers in Basildon and Enfield have taken action to occupy their plants

Even workers with over 30 years service will only get about nine grand and most workers a lot less.

Also, their pensions plus those of ex-Visteon workers in Swansea and retirees will go into the Pension Protection Fund, which will result in reduced payments.

This is the brutal side of capitalism - no bailouts or bonuses like the bankrupt fat cats get - but bare minimum pay outs and the dole. Visteon UK executives have jumped ship and are now employed by their own spin-off 'Visteon Engineering Services'. A life raft for rats escaping the sinking ship!

Visteon was spun-off by Ford in 2000 as a device to slash costs at the expense of the workforce. Two and then three-tier contracts then followed as well as outsourcing of 'indirect' jobs.

However, for Visteon bosses this wasn't enough. They've spent the last 3 1/2 years demanding that Visteon workers break their Ford 'mirrored' contracts.

No doubt there will be some in the unions who will agree with management that if only the workforce had agreed cuts in their pay, pensions, terms & conditions, insolvency could have been avoided.

The reality is however, that Visteon, like General Motors' spin-off Delphi, was never viable. Visteon workers were correct to resist and have had at least more income by doing so. It was that successful battle that has given the Belfast workers the confidence to resist now.

These workers want to put pressure on Ford to intervene to stop the sackings. They are appealing to the unions in Ford to support them by not using parts shipped in to replace those from Belfast.

If that fails, the occupation can be built to involve the trade union movement and working-class community to force the government to intervene to nationalise Visteon to save these jobs.

Messages of support / offers of help supportvisteonoccupation@hotmail.com

See also Socialaist Party article Visteon workers occupy Belfast factory. Carries interview with convenor.

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