22 January 2010
The union Unite has confirmed that former employees of Visteon
resident in Wales will demonstrate outside the Welsh Assembly in
protest over their pension rights. The union is urging assembly
members to lend their support after claims former parent company
Ford broke "copper-bottomed promises" over their pensions.
In March 2009 Visteon UK, which was previously owned by Ford
Motor Company - went into administration. Nearly 1000 workers at
Basildon, Enfield and Belfast lost their jobs.
Unite insists that when the Ford plant in Swansea was taken over
by Visteon in 2000 workers were assured their pensions would be
They allege that Ford promised to protect the pension rights of
the transferred workers. However they are now having their claims
assessed by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and face having a
reduced pension entitlement paid. Unite says that the PPF should
not have to pick up the bill as Ford Motor Company made firm
commitments to protect its workers' rights on their transfer to
Unite also called on The Pensions Regulator to investigate the
transfer of the Visteon scheme to the Pension Protection Fund. The
regulator said that it was aware of the situation but not in a
position to comment as yet.
Regional secretary Andy Richards 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
"We call on not just ex-Visteon workers, but also the wider
community, to stand together and fight this."
Ford released a statement saying: "Ford met or exceeded its
obligations under the 2000 agreement when Visteon became fully
independent. The agreement covered the transfer of employees to
Visteon UK and their pensions into the Visteon fund.
"The situation for former Visteon UK employees is unfortunate
but the responsibility for administering and funding their terms
and conditions was Visteon's, including managing its pension
"Ford's obligations to its former employees were fully
discharged and Ford believes there is no basis for resuming
liability for benefits transferred to Visteon."
Unite will also be taking the case to a senior Ford
executives meeting in New York on January the