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Workers at a former Ford plant have won their long struggle for a pension settlement
Workers at a former car parts factory are rejoicing after winning a four-year battle to get the pension they were promised.
Staff at the Visteon plant in Mollison Avenue in Ponders End, saw their pension scheme collapse when the company went bust.
All had been employed by Ford and had a pension scheme which they were told would be exactly the same when Visteon was formed.
However, on March 31, 2009 Visteon was put into administration and workers were told to leave the plant in the middle of a shift.
Workers staged a seven-week protest to improve their redundancy package but still lost a considerable sum of redundancy money.
Visteon Pension Action Group was then set up and after four years, it has been announced that Ford would offer its former employers a deal.
Ford had insisted that the pensions were the responsibility of the injection moulding firm, founded in 2000.
Raphael Sanneti, 59, was made redundant in 2007 but took a hit to his pension in 2009 and said everyone had struggled to cope.
He said: “There are people who had it a lot worse than me but we have all suffered because of this. I had worked there since 1991 and some people longer.
“Every single person there is entitled to their correct pension. We all paid into it and we should have all that returned back to us.”
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois has helped to secure the victory and was “delighted” by the outcome.
He said: “I am delighted to hear that Ford are living up to their responsibilities and doing the right thing. This is fantastic news for VPAG and for Visteon pensioners across the UK including those in Enfield, and I would like to congratulate them and VPAG for their hard-fought campaign.
“Their dogged determination has resulted in a well-earned victory and I know that the people they represent will be forever grateful for their efforts.”
“Colleagues from across the House worked together in this fight relentlessly campaigning for their constituents and this cross party effort has shown democracy working at its finest.”
Derek Richings of Bush Hill Park, Enfield, and a member of VPAG, was happy to see the Ford has reached the agreement.
He said: “Campaigners had been protesting everyday at the Ford site in Enfield in the beginning and have continued to fight this decision.
“We are delighted by the news but Ford is yet to say how much the settlement will be so we are all waiting to hear the news.”
Edmonton MP Andy Love also welcomed the latest news and said: “It has been a long, hard fight so news that a settlement has been reached with Ford is particularly welcome. The way the former Visteon workers – my constituents included – were treated was absolutely appalling.
“It is a great relief that we were able to stand together today – five years on from the firm going bust - in the knowledge they will get the pensions that are rightfully theirs.”
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