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Hundreds turn out for family day as axed workers continue protest

By Victoria O’Hara

Hundreds of people demonstrated their support for the sacked Visteon workers during a family day held at the west Belfast plant yesterday.



Almost a week after the employees were told they were losing their jobs members of the community, including wives, mothers, and children of the axed workers, rallied to organise the event.

Music, bouncy castles and magic shows entertained families throughout the afternoon.

Sinn Fein president and MP for West Belfast Gerry Adams also addressed the crowds.

Visteon, which used to be a major supplier to car giant Ford, sparked anger by announcing 560 jobs would go last week, blaming massive losses.

Since the news broke hundreds of former plant workers have staged a sit-in at the site.

They say Ford had promised them redundancy contracts.

Peter Orr — who worked at the company for 12 years —brought his son and daughter to the fun day.

“The last week has been very stressful for the workers and their families,” he said.

“For those people involved in the sit-in, they have not had the chance to see loved ones. So a day like today is important. It’s like a relief for all the workers.

“My wife couldn’t come unfortunately, she had to work, because we need to keep money coming in somehow.”

Gerry Adams told the crowd he spoke to John Fleming, the CEO of Ford Europe, on the phone that morning.

Mr Adams added: “Ford cannot be allowed to renege on its responsibilities to the Visteon workers. Workers’ rights must be protected.”

And DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said there is a lot of support for the employees. “They have been treated very badly and I think it’s important for the local Assembly to show its support for the workers,” he added.

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