Thursday, 1 April 2010

Visteon pension protest in London March 31st

A year ago yesterday, my ex employer Visteon went into administration throwing hundreds of car workers on the dole in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon and jeapordising ex-Visteon workers pensions.
Visteon was hived off from Ford in 2000 and its workers told by Ford that their terms and conditions, including their pensions would be protected. Lies!
Those sacked Visteon workers had to occupy their factories and after a bitter dispute forced Ford to pay a decent redundancy package.
Unfortunately the Visteon pensioners have not been bailed out by Ford in the same way and have instead seen their pensions drop dramatically under the Pension Protection Fund.
We have organised several meetings for the Swansea Visteon pensioners over the past year or so with a regular attendance of over 100. That is how strong the feelings are that our pensioners have been ripped off by Ford and some are losing up to £350 a month!
We had two coach loads from Swansea travel up and joined another 300 protesters from Belfast, Enfield and Basildon.
I addressed the rally outside our union headquarters and at Parliament Square. I also went into Downing Street as part of a delegation to hand in a 2000 signature petition.
We were not allowed to march on the streets so the demo took to the pavements of London and with our banners, 'Fraud' baseball caps and T shirts which made a big impression on bemused tourists and the general public.
We want our union UNITE to take Ford to court because they have lied to us and washed their hands of ex-workers who have given their lives to this company. The union has said they will make a decision on April 14th and in the meantime we will continue to put pressure on both our own union and Ford to get the justice our pensioners deserve.