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Adams welcomes UNITE pursuit of Ford/Visteon on Pensions

26 July, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin west Belfast MP Gerry Adams has welcomed the statement by the UNITE Union representing former Visteon workers that it has written to the Ford Motor Company seeking compensation for ‘misleading’ advice it gave to Ford workers who transferred to Visteon.

Mr. Adams said:

“Visteon’s Belfast plant and two others in Britain were closed in March 2009 with the loss of hundreds of jobs. Visteon workers in west Belfast, with the support of the local community, successfully took a stand against the injustice of the closure and the efforts of a huge multi national company to steal from them many of the pension and other rights they were entitled to under hard fought for agreements.

However, serious questions remain about the behaviour of the Ford Motor Company and of the Visteon Management in respect of the transfer of pension schemes and company assets.

This included the transfer of core products manufactured in Belfast to other locations. The Visteon pension fund was also operated at a huge deficit and it is now known that millions of pounds of assets were transferred out of pension funds by Visteon management.

Management which had a hand in the transfer of pension funds, also had a part in the timing of the closure.

Senior management were set up with new jobs and Visteon paid global management substantial bonuses in the year that they closed Belfast.

Those who were responsible for the decisions which were made must be held fully to account. If there is evidence of crime or business malpractice it must be brought before the courts.

My office has been in contact with the Pensions Regulator and its investigation is ongoing.

I welcome the decision by UNITE to pursue this matter through the courts if necessary. “

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