Visteon workers are set to get their day in court as union representatives from Unite confirmed it will start legal action against car giant Ford this week.
Unite is taking Ford to court over what it sees as a betrayal by Ford – the company from which Visteon was born – of both its moral and financial obligations.
Visteon was set up to take over Ford’s component plants in the UK and its parent remained its main customer. But Visteon was a completely separate business entity, with a completely separate pension scheme.
When the company collapsed in 2000 its pension fund had a shortfall of £350m and many of its long standing workers, who had worked for Ford before the spin off – and transferred their pots to the newly established scheme – lost out substantially.
The Visteon Pension Action Group has protested at key political and industry events over the past year and hopes the legal action brought by its union will bring the situation to a fruitful resolution for the 3,000 affected members.
Unite’s position is clear – Ford has “blood on its hands” and has broken “copper bottomed promises” made to its former workers.
However, while Ford admits the situation is “regrettable” it believes it fully discharged its obligations to the Visteon victims.
The courts seem to be the only place to get a binding and fair resolution to the situation.
Though Unite is also realistic about the fact it has a long, hard battle to fight against a monolithic multi-national. JT
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