Posted by: vickim57 | 30 July 2009

Message from Visteon occupation Belfast spokesperson

Congratulations and full support to the Vestas workers who are standing up for their rights and have occupied their factory.
Visteon & Ford tried to do that with us and when they put the company into administration on 31/3/09 they thought that workers were so demoralised and afraid of anti-trade union laws that we would just meekly disappear.
We were told to get out with 5 minutes notice and no redundancy or retirement benefits.
They threatened us with eviction but we never left, even after they brought us to court.
They threatened us with bailiffs but the local community rallied to our support, moral, financial and physical presence on the site.
After 7 weeks Ford and Visteon were forced to negotiate a redundancy deal, but they still stole our pensions, which what this is really all about.
We left the factory with our heads held high and our dignity intact.
The products from the plant were still needed, but instead the work went to South Africa.
We will continue to fight them until they honour their own agreements, but we would never have got anywhere had we not kept the occupation going.
I listened to one of the wives of the workers who expressed her pride in the stand the workers have taken.
That pride will grow over the next few weeks, but you would never forgive yourselves had you meekly left the plant.
Stay strong and united.
Gerry Campbell
Visteon, Belfast


Responses

  1. To All,
    Would like to offer support for your Struggle for JUSTICE. As you might be aware, we went into solvency on the 1st March this year with no redundancy package. We did not except this and started a occupation, it was the best thing we done because it created so much publicity of the way we had been treated by a American corporation. Ron Clark our ex. (Unite)convenor at Enfield has already been to the Isle of wight to offer support. He will be returning very shortly with more support. Hope we can organise a larger support group very shortly. Hope you are getting support from all Vesta workers and not being left to a few to fight for Justice.

    Regards
    Bob Benham Ex. Shop Steward Visteon Enfield


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