Sacked Visteon staff vow to continue blockade

VISTEON workers fighting for justice after being summarily sacked vowed on Friday to blockade their factories into next week.

A High Court injunction that forced an end to the workers’ takeover of Visteon’s Enfield plant in north London has failed to stop the mass picket being mounted at the factory’s gates.

The 200 workers voted to end their occupation on Thursday but have remained at the site to stop their bosses from stripping the factory of machinery, while pledging to continue blockading the car parts manufacturer until Visteon bosses meet their Unite union reps next Tuesday.

Some 650 skilled manufacturing workers at Visteon’s factories in Belfast, Basildon and London were given just a few minutes notice on March 31 that they were being thrown out of work – without any redundancy pay.

The workers in Belfast and London immediately took over their factories, while others in Basildon barricaded their plant’s gates.

After nine days of occupation, many workers are confident that they are about to win.

Unite convener Kevin Nolan related that he had attended negotiations between the union and Visteon bosses in New York on Wednesday and said that the talks were “positive.

“He said: “Having Derek Simpson negotiating on your behalf, you couldn’t have got anything better. He did a fantastic job.”

“But I’m more optimistic now that we can get a result, but we are still prepared to be here until we get justice,” he insisted.

Linda, another worker standing at the factory gates in the light rain, added that the workers “will never give up.”

She held out a letter given to her by Ford when the car company turned its car parts division into the separate Visteon corporation in 2000.

“‘For the duration of your employment with Visteon, your terms and conditions will mirror Ford conditions. This means lifetime protection while an employee of Visteon of all your contractual conditions of employment,” she sead.

“We are hoping for a deal that honours this contract, gives us the same redundancy pay that any Ford worker would get, and gives us a guarantee on pensions – these are the things we are fighting for,” Linda stressed.

From the Morning Star


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