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Visteon dispute to continue after deal is rejected

Published 17/04/2009

Hopes of a resolution to the long-running Visteon dispute were dashed last night after the union representing workers at the closed car parts factory in west Belfast rejected a new severance pay offer from their former employers.

A spokesman for the Unite union said that the offer made by US-based Visteon Corp was “derisory” and added “insult to injury”.

“We have rejected the company’s offer. It falls short of what would be a fair solution and we are hoping for further discussions that will lead to a just outcome,” the Unite spokesman said yesterday.

Visteon had offered to make an immediate cash payment equivalent to 16 weeks of workers’ previous pay, with additional payments to be made over time.

Around 560 workers at Visteon’s former Ford plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon lost their jobs when Visteon’s UK operation was put into administration on March 31.

Workers have occupied the Finaghy Road North plant in west Belfast for the past two weeks in protest over what they saw as the failure of Visteon and its former owner Ford to honour redundancy obligations.

Protesters in Northern Ireland have also picketed Ford showrooms over the Easter weekend and the sit-in looks set to continue.

John Maguire, who represents the disgruntled former staff at the west Belfast plant, said: “We will continue to demand our jobs back.

“The sit-in will end when Ford come to the table and give us our jobs back.”

Michigan-based Visteon Corp. yesterday said its proposals to leaders of the Unite union aimed to address the redundancy pay concerns of its former employees.

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From Belfast Telegraph