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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 April 2010

Ex-Visteon workers continue fight for pensions

Hundreds of Visteon pensioners and their supporters marched through central London on 31 March to protest against cuts in their pensions due to the greed of their previous employers, Ford.

Alec Thraves

Visteon, a car parts manufacturer, was hived off from Ford in 2000 and its workers were told that their pensions would be safe and protected for life.

When Visteon went into administration one year ago the workers were forced to occupy their factories in Belfast, Enfield, north east London, and Basildon, Essex, to get a decent redundancy deal which was ultimately won by putting pressure on Ford.

Unfortunately, the Visteon pensioners have not been bailed out by Ford and have instead seen their pensions drop dramatically under the Pension Protection Fund.

Rob Williams, Unite convenor at Linamar in Swansea (ex Ford/Visteon) told the rally outside the Unite headquarters that Visteon pensioners expect their union Unite to take this profit-driven multinational to court so that its ex-employees can get back the money that they paid into the pension fund for decades. Some pensioners are already losing up to 350 a month.

Roger Maddison, the Unite national official responsible for the dispute, said that a decision about going to court would be made on 14 April.

The protesters handed in a petition signed by 2,000 members to Downing Street and then gathered at Parliament Square for a final rally.Police prevented the demonstrators from marching on the roads but the sight of over 400 protesters wearing 'Fraud' baseball caps and t-shirts, waving placards and marching down the City of London pavements definitely highlighted the campaign to the general public as well as for tourists.

Unite has to grasp the nettle and take on this bully boy company that is attacking workers who have given their lives to the Ford Motor Company and are being repaid with a kick in the teeth.

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