CARDIFF, Wales -- Unite, the largest union in Wales, will stage a demonstration outside the Welsh Assembly on Jan. 21 as hundreds of Unite members continue their fight for pension parity. Assembly members are being asked to lend their support on behalf of the hundreds of former Visteon Corp. workers living in Wales.
The lobby centers on promises made by car giant Ford Motor Co., which transferred workers to Visteon in 2000.
Last year, Visteon UK went into administration with nearly 1,000 workers at Basildon, Belfast, Enfield and Swansea losing their jobs. Following a sustained campaign and sit-ins held by workers, a settlement was reached.
However, Unite is now fighting for “pensions justice” for 3,000 former workers affected, many of whom live in Wales. The government's Pension Protection Fund scheme will only cover a proportion of the workers' pensions and Unite believes the taxpayer should not have to pick up the bill when Ford made firm commitments to protect its workers' terms and conditions on their transfer to Visteon.
Andy Richards, Unite regional secretary who will be leading the demonstration, said: “Unite will firmly support ex-Visteon workers fighting for pensions' justice. Ford made copper-bottomed promises to the workers before they were transferred to Visteon and we intend to hold them to these promises.
“We call on not just ex-Visteon workers, but also the wider community, to stand together and fight this.”
The union will also be taking its members' case to senior Ford executives at a meeting in New York on Jan. 22.