Workers occupy Visteon Factory - updates and discussion

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varlet
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Apr 16 2009 15:04

On the deal:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8002239.stm

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

Visteon Corporation has said most employees would receive a cash payment equivalent to 16 weeks pay.

Workers in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield have been protesting after being laid off by the firm, which has gone into administration in the UK.

A Unite union spokesman called the offer "derisory" and that it added "insult to injury."

Commenting on the new offer, Visteon Corporation said as well as the immediate cash payment: "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."

...

varlet
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Apr 16 2009 15:07

On the situation at enfield today (from the visteon support group e-list):

'mood is angry, the 90 days offer is a kick in the teeth, but also a boost in determination. workers decided to barricade the main gate with four heavy parts-containers and fill them with remaining parts. the security guards called the cops, five cars turned up, but atmosphere remained cool. rumours are that the visteon enfield convenor won't take part in the upcoming negotiations, but that is unconfirmed. support from some belfast guys at the picket was good. given the negotiation results, the unknown next negotiation dates and the visit of managers and contractors at/in the plant should mean that they will try to get stuff out soonish...'

Work Shirker
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Apr 17 2009 11:14

"FORD VISTEON SOLIDARITY GATHERING/RALLY
SATURDAY 18th APRIL - 11am

At the Enfield Factory, Morson Rd (Gate 5), EN3 4NQ - nr Ponders End train station, Enfield [The plant is 5mins walk across the footbridge, southwards down the main road and turn left into Morson Rd]

Following the insulting and unacceptable offer from Visteon this week the sacked workers are stepping up their 24/7 picket of the Enfield factory. The Belfast and Basildon Visteon workers have also rejected the offer. Now more than ever they need support and solidarity for their decision to continue their struggle for justice.

Come along to find out what is happening at the factory and what people can do to help step up the campaign.
The Fight Goes On!
Gathering/Rally called by the Ford Visteon Workers Support Group".

rottweiler
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Apr 17 2009 21:32

Are there any ideas about what the bosses next move might be? I wonder how the state is thinking how it should handle this as this struggle is clearly going to influence other workers in the UK. Will the government put some pressure on the company to resolve the stand-off or just wade-in and enforce asset-stripping?

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Steven.
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Apr 17 2009 23:24

Yes, the question about the government is interesting. They certainly won't want to encourage this sort of thing. But also they probably wouldn't want to send in riot police to forcibly evict people.

I'd be interested to know more about what happened in Basildon, where the police did forcibly evict people, but it didn't attract much media coverage. I saw one report which said that police moved in hard to evict the workers because they were smashing machinery in the factory, rather than just occupying it. I don't know if there is any truth to that. Does anyone have any more information?

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Red Marriott
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Apr 18 2009 07:29

I heard that some wrecking went on in the factory - apparently Basildon had no stock or machinery of much value to the company in the plant, so that was probably the easiest way of hurting the company in the short term. Then the riot cops came and I guess the choice was either leave or get nicked for criminal damage.

Work Shirker
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Apr 19 2009 11:45

Sat 25 April National Day of Action to support the Ford-Visteon workers. Supporters Gathering/Rally at 11am at the Enfield plant (Gate 5) before moving off for actions. At 5pm there will be a showing of the Visteon documentary at Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1

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PartyBucket
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Apr 20 2009 17:25

Steps underway to evict the workers from the Belfast plant.

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Choccy
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Apr 20 2009 19:04

There's no one's name on the court summons though is there? It's just 'visteon workers' I heard.

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PartyBucket
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Apr 20 2009 19:14
Choccy wrote:
There's no one's name on the court summons though is there? It's just 'visteon workers' I heard.

'The Occupiers'.
Not sure if they plan to attend court or not.

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Choccy
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Apr 20 2009 19:20

Ah right cool

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back2front
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Apr 21 2009 11:52

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8010140.stm

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Choccy
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Apr 21 2009 13:38

Me, Notch and Deezer went up earlier. The fella Deezer was chatting to told us about the adjounrnement til Friday. The workers' resolve is still strong though smile

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PartyBucket
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Apr 21 2009 13:40

We just paid a very brief visit to the gates of the Belfast plant, despite the impending court action the workers are still determined to win what they set out for.
They are now into their 3rd week of occupation, day 22.

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PartyBucket
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Apr 26 2009 21:52

Paid a visit to the Belfast factory tonight, workers are determined as ever...

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Steven.
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Apr 26 2009 22:34

Don't have time to get the source right now, but read that Ford have agreed to go to the table, pending workers calling off a planned 30-strong picket of Fords Bridgend plant.

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Choccy
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Apr 26 2009 23:18

it's from Enfield Plant News - the pickets' bulletin, No.3‏

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PartyBucket
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Apr 30 2009 21:35

Myself and Deezer just made a very quick visit to the Belfast plant; workers at the gates told us that discussions are ongoing regarding the latest offer that has been made to the workforce. Probably will be some news tomorrow as to whether it will be accepted or whether the occupation will continue.

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JoeMaguire
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Apr 30 2009 22:00

Heard after a mass meeting that the redundancy package is much better than Fords offer but no mention of a pension. More news forthcoming

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Red Marriott
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May 1 2009 16:53

The picket of KPMG offices went well; sunny day, 50 or so people, leaflets given out, small mobile sound system. Then some workers turned up from the Mayday march and spoke and ranted against the corruption and injustice of their situation. The new offer is being considered and will be better or worse depending on various factors; eg, how long you've worked for Ford/Visteon, how much left to pay on your mortgage, your age, chances of finding new employment etc. No one seems sure if the vote will be dealt with as a vote of all 3 plants - or as 3 separate votes with separate outcomes. (As is common in long-running disputes, those who've sat it out at home passively waiting for a settlement ,without being involved in the occupation or picketing, now reappear to see what's on offer and will be most likely to vote for a quick settlement.) Here's a report from a supporter who visited Enfield today;

"Just come back from the factory and the mood is very good amongst the workers. The gut feeling of the workers I have talked to is that they will probably accept the deal they have been offered, but the meeting to discuss this and the vote will happen between 2pm and 4pm. Basildon are also meeting at 2pm, but nobody I spoke to seemed to know when Belfast were meeting. I haven't seen any paperwork but the deal seems to be a very good redundancy payment for the workers (and it varies depending on how long they have workers at the plant). As for the pensions, it seems that there is a government pension protection scheme (I know nothing about it and the workers I spoke to are a bit vague on it as well). As far as I understand it, a part of the workers pension payments get protected by this scheme, so when the workers reach 65 there will be some of their private pension plan available to them. I have heard figures of between 60% and 90% of what they would have got through their Visteon/Ford scheme. I am sure others on this list can give a better explanation than me on this scheme. So, it seems, part of the pension element is safe. The other minus bit is that the Visteon workers existing pension plan let them retire at 58. With this government protection plan, it doesn't kick in until workers reach 65. So, workers will lose on the pension side (some more than others) but all seem to be offered more redundancy payments than they would have got under the Visteon redundancy scheme (if Visteon were still in business). I hope all this makes sense.

All the workers I spoke to agree, the pickets and solidarity actions planned need to go on, and the pickets will continue until all the paperwork is signed and cheques are in workers bank accounts - so at least for another week. Supporters are still needed on the picket lines over the weekend especially early morning. The workers know nothing is final until the money is in their hands."

Latest news from Enfield - deal accepted;
"the vote was 178 to 5 and Basildon was 159 to 0.
Belfast vote on Sunday. They all see it as a huge victory and feeling
is strong. But Belfast ?
The picketting continues however as solidarity for Belfast."

MT
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May 1 2009 21:19

It would be interesting to see the contents of the final deal.
Btw, does this mean that this voting was about the same deal or each factory had different deals. I am just curious if Belfast will vote on the same thing.

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oisleep
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May 2 2009 09:08

bit in the ft today about it - seems like a fairly decent outcome if true (obviously ignore the stuff about unite)

Quote:
Unite said yesterday that it had secured more generous pay-out terms for 610 workers made redundant at the UK unit of Visteon, the auto parts supplier.

The trade union said former employees of Ford Motor would receive the statutory redundancy pay Visteon had offered them, plus 52 weeks' pay, augmented by a 5.2 per cent increase.

Remaining workers with shorter service would receive 10 times what they would have received in statutory redundancy pay, Unite said.

The deal followed the occupation of two of Visteon's plants by workers and the picketing of the third after the US company's main UK unit entered receivership in late March.

Unite also threatened to picket plants and dealers owned by Ford, which spun off Visteon in 2000, and pressed its case for bigger pay-outs in meetings with both companies' management in the US and the UK. Workers at Visteon's two English plants voted for the deal yesterday.

Staff were due to vote on it at the company's plant in Belfast tomorrow.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fa46492-36b2-11de-af40-00144feabdc0.html

posi
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May 5 2009 01:12

Report on developments in the Visteon struggle up to Sunday, focussing on the role of the union, and changing attitudes to the union among workers -

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/the-struggle-at-visteon-the-union-and-the-development-of-class-consciousness/

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Red Marriott
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May 6 2009 16:24

Rob Williams, Swansea convenor sacked for supporting workers in the Ford/Visteon dispute, then reinstated pending negotiations - has today, after talks between Unite union and management, been sacked.

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Choccy
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May 6 2009 17:21

fuck shit one
His co-workers were quick to react last week, any sign of something similar?

Work Shirker
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May 6 2009 22:39

Not yet- but apparently there was massive intimidation of the workforce today “foremen going around the shop floor threatening workers with the sack if they dared walk out in support of Rob. The bosses even went to the ludicrous lengths of removing the door from Rob’s trade union office”...

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Choccy
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May 6 2009 23:03

Fuckin hell, that's mental sad

syndicalist
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May 7 2009 12:41

How accurate is this story?

Quote:
Subj: Belfast Visteon workers discuss the deal - Socialist Worker
Date: 5/6/2009 8:25:34 AM Eastern Standard Time

New article posted on Socialist Worker websiteBelfast Visteon workers discuss the deal
Ford-Visteon workers in Belfast have been occupying their plant for over five weeks after they were sacked with no notice and no redundancy pay at the end of March

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=17854

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Red Marriott
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May 7 2009 12:59

I've heard that the deal is conditional on the workers ending occupation and pickets before they'll receive any money. So it may become a bit of a chess game.

petey
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May 7 2009 14:58

money put first into an escrow?