Visteon workers secure Ford pensions settlement

 

A deal has been reached to offer compensation to former Visteon employees after their pensions were slashed when the company went into administration in 2009.

The Unite Union said it had concluded an agreement with Ford, which owned Visteon before it was spun off over a decade ago, after former employees launched a legal challenge against the automobile giant.

The terms of the settlement are confidential and Ford did not disclose the amount paid in compensation to the workers, who lost nearly 40 per cent of the expected value of their retirement pensions when Visteon went bust.

It is understood that around 1,200 ex-workers from factories in Basildon, Essex, Enfield in north London, Belfast and Swansea, will be covered by the settlement.

Unite said in a statement: "The settlement would avoid further expense for participants in the case and will settle the legal claims that these individuals have made against Ford."

Ford had come under intense pressure to settle following a high profile campaign backed by MPs, Welsh Assembly members and MEPs.

Former Visteon employee and leading campaigner Paul Bailey said: "This is a significant achievement for us after five long years of struggle.

"It hasn't been easy, some of the men here were very angry, very stressed, but we've been able to bring Ford to table and reach a fair settlement."

Ford, which transferred its retirement funds to Visteon after it spun off its operations, initially claimed the pensions weren't its responsibility as Visteon was an independent company at the time.

Visteon staff argued Ford had a "moral duty" to former employees.

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