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Posted on 14 April 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Visteon protests outside Fords dealerships

Report of picket of Fords showrooms by Visteon workers. Eleanor Donne spoke to Frank Jepson, convenor and Robert Fitch of Basildon Visteon.

On Easter Monday in Fords showrooms at Dagenham, Romford, Billericay, Grays and Basildon anyone dropping in to look at a new car got more than the usual sales pitch.

Sacked Visteon workers and supporters who have been picketing outside their plant in Basildon for nearly two weeks took their protest to Fords showrooms around Essex.

They are demanding that Ford honour terms and conditions that were in place when their workplace was transferred to a 'spin off' company Visteon in 2000.

Visteon went into liquidation at the end of March, leaving the workers unpaid for their last week's work, reliant on state redundancy payments and not even knowing if their pensions are safe.

In Dagenham and Grays the showrooms are in quite a built up area and the protests had a really good impact, with lots of passers by taking leaflets and showing support.

It was clear that the managers at most of the showrooms were rattled by this action (although in Grays the manager offered to shut the place for the day in support !).

In Romford the boss called the police, demanding they remove the leafletters. The police had to point out that actually no laws were being broken and let the protestors carry on.

Other Fords showrooms across the country were picketed by fellow trade unionists in support of Visteon workers, including action in Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow amongst others.

The phone lines to Fords head office will definitely have been buzzing following the protests. This is the kind of publicity that Fords could do without and keeps up the pressure on Fords and Visteon before talks between Unite and Visteon later in the week.

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