Apr 26, 2010
Auto workers in the U.S. will recognize their own situation in this report from Britain. It comes from Workers’ Fight, put out by the revolutionary workers group of that name in Britain.
The government’s Business Secretary Peter Mandelson hasn’t said a word about the plight of former Ford workers who were transferred by Ford to its parts factories – spun off as Visteon in 2000. In fact Ford now expects the government to pay these workers’ pensions – many of whom gave it more than 30 years of their labor – via the Pension Protection Fund, having washed its hands of all responsibility!
The British division of Visteon declared bankruptcy almost exactly a year ago, shutting its three remaining plants in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield, precisely, it seems, to get rid of its commitment to the “Ford” final salary pension terms, which had been guaranteed to the workers when they transferred over to Visteon. At the time, workers occupied two of the factories for weeks, but were eventually convinced by Unite union officials to accept a buyout plan – which left the pension question unresolved. And so it remains. Pensioners could lose 10-50% of their due! Yet at the same time Ford is getting government awards and handouts? Says it all about this bosses’ government.