16/04/2009

Visteon Settlement Rejected

The union representing former workers at Visteon has rejected an offer of cash payments by the firm's US owners

A Unite union spokesman called the offer "derisory" and that it added "insult to injury" even though it would have meant most of the protesting workers at the doomed Belfast factory being offered individual cash payments.

The move comes amid efforts to halt a sit-in and protest (protest poster pictured) by the former workers at Visteon Corporation's plant in west Belfast.

The US owners of Visteon indicated that it is willing to offer immediate payment of 16 weeks wages to the majority of staff.

It follows negotiations in London yesterday over the plight of former staff at the car parts plant. They have been staging a sit-in protest at the site since last month, when administrators KPMG announced it was shutting the facility.
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A statement from Visteon Corporation said: "Over time, additional payments would be made increasing their total severance package to the approximate amounts they would have received under their most recent contract."

The firm was formerly owned by Ford with the NI-based workers insisting they have "been sold out" by the global vehicle manufacturer.

It only offered the minimum redundancy packages despite many having worked there for decades after the giant motor company indicated they are not responsible for former Visteon employees.

Nearly 600 jobs were lost at the company's three UK plants - 210 in Belfast - with staff being given less than an hour's notice.

The workers said they were given guarantees on pay and conditions when the company was split off from Ford nine years ago and would only leave when they were offered an adequate deal.

During recent escalation, protesting workers have picketed Ford showrooms in the greater Belfast area, increasing pressure on the US-based firm.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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