Visteon Talks Today

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Sacked Visteon workers from Enfield, north London, and Belfast were picketing Ford showrooms yesterday on the eve of today’s talks with management.

Meanwhile, on the round the clock picket line at the Enfield plant, Unite member Harry Heeroo told News Line: ‘We are fighting for our rights. We’ve been here for 31 years.

‘At the talks tomorrow, we want a good deal and a good pension. We worked very hard for this company.’

Fellow Unite member Elizabeth Boakye added: ‘Visteon management are holding talks with the union convenors tomorrow. The location is still secret.

‘They kept our convenor out of the talks in New York.

‘It was a tactical move by Visteon just to weaken us, but it did not work and they have to pay.’

Tina Dhanjam said: ‘I want my job back. I would not get a job outside of here – where are the other jobs?

‘I worked for Ford and then Visteon for a total of 33 years. We were promised Ford terms and conditions for life. I’m very angry.’

Toni Tagliarini added: ‘We want our jobs back. If Visteon decide to form another company elsewhere, why can’t Ford come back and run it?

‘If Ford don’t want it, nationalising it would be a good idea.’

Bradley Sprague said: ‘We don’t think anything is going to be settled at the talks with Visteon.’

Elma Walker said: ‘We’re very angry that Visteon closed this place down.

‘We want our union to fight for us and keep us informed as to what is going on.’

l THE SHANGHAI Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which bought Longbridge Rover in 2005 and shuttered the plant, is gearing up to take over GM Vauxhall and Opel.

In 2005, the Labour government refused to nationalise the plant and allowed SAIC to shut it down and ship the plant to China, creating tens of thousands of redundancies in the Midlands.

Vauxhall workers must now fear that they will be facing the same future, unless they avert it.

SAIC has asked for a sale document from General Motors, the bankrupt US company that has been told by President Obama that closing 15 plants and sacking 40,000 workers is not enough if it is to get further US state aid.

GM, which may be forced into bankruptcy by President Obama, is looking to rid itself of Vauxhall-Opel.

Another interested Chinese company is Geely Automotive, which owns a stake in London’s black cabs.

There is also a private equity company in the running to carve Vauxhall up.

Vauxhall Luton was shut down in 2002.

There are widespread concerns in Luton that another death-dealing closure, as far as Luton is concerned, is on hand.

Dave Wiltshire, the secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance told News Line yesterday that ‘There is no doubt that this is the time for workers to occupy the plant and demand national action by the union leadership to see that GM Vauxhall is nationalised.’