Jack Jones looks at the campaign by former Visteon pension scheme members to get Ford to compensate them for losses incurred when the fund entered the PPF
was his local MP. He said he couldn't get involved because he was a minister, but he nominated Stephen Metcalfe as another local MP and gave us one word of advice: persistence. He said: ‘If you don't continue to put pressure on and engage people over a long time, you won't get anywhere'.
"So that's what we did - we have been organising regular marches, and weekly protests at the Rayleigh dealership. The number of people who have come up to us at these protests to talk about problems with their own pensions has been shocking."
Conservative MP for Thurrock and Basildon Stephen Metcalfe
"I got involved at what I think was the first surgery after I was elected. Someone came to see me and put their case, and I took it up and have been working away at it for four years. Now Ford has come to the table with a multi-million cheque, for something they claim they aren't responsible for. That doesn't happen every day, and it's a result of sheer perseverance on all sides.
"Ford obviously realised this wasn't going away. Because we focused on the moral issue, rather than the legal side, even if the court case had gone against the VPAG claimants we would have carried on our campaign.
"We started off by calling in Ford to come and talk about this and then we organised a debate in Westminster Hall. Our campaign was strengthened when the current chief executive of Visteon said the firm had effectively been set up to fail. Following that we wrote to Ford chief executive Alan Mulally as an all-party parliamentary group.
"We were unhappy to get a response from someone at a lower level so we sent another letter, individually signed by around 50 MPs and started lobbying for a debate in the main chamber.
The next step would have been to raise the issue in a sustained way at Prime Minister's questions."
"But in the most recent debate Steve Webb surprised us when he said his officials had contacted Ford to set up a meeting. That was a big step - blue chip companies do not want ministers turning up on their doorstep, saying ‘why aren't you doing the right thing?'."
"That helped get Ford round the table, and it is fundamentally good news that they have come up with this offer.
"It has been a very interesting introduction to parliamentary politics for me. It helped that this was a true cross-party issue - colleagues from every party worked closely together without trying to score political points. It shows how Parliament can work at its best."
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