Pensioners drive up protest support
VISTEON pensioners gathered support of drivers travelling past Neath Abbey's Days dealer at the weekend, while they took part in a UK-wide protest.
Visteon UK, in Fabian Way, was created out of Ford in 2000 and pensioners argue they were given assurances their pensions would be protected.
But workers now claim they are losing up to 50 per cent of their pensions after Visteon went into administration four years ago.
On Saturday morning, 20 former employees of the Ford factory met at the Days dealership in Neath Abbey to protest — while others in Rayleigh, Enfield and Belfast also held events.
John Elvins, former employee at the Fabian Way plant and a member of the Visteon Pension Action Group (VPAG), said: "Today is about keeping the pressure on Ford, letting them know that we're not going away and that we don't want anything more than what we were promised.
"In the same way that we kept our promises while working for them, we want them to keep their promises to us."
As workers held signs and placards as part of their demonstration, they also handed out leaflets to passing cars who beeped their support at the group's fight.
"It's all part of it and we appreciate the support," said Mr Elvins.
"When we went to London, there were more than 300 of us and there was a tremendous atmosphere.
"Now we want to up the ante as our court case is coming closer and for Ford to realise what they have done.
"We'd all like to thank all the politicians who have supported us in our fight."
One of those who has offered support to the group continued to do soon Saturday.
Bethan Jenkins, South Wales West AM, joined the protest at the site and said it was vital that the pressure was kept on the company. "Almost five years has gone by and the message to Ford is clear — this is not going away," she said. "As each day and month passes, the resolve of these men and women to get what is owed to them, what is their right, grows ever stronger.
"We are in the process of collecting as many Assembly Members signatures as possible — all those representing areas in and around Swansea that are able to do so have signed — to add to a letter to the heads of Ford worldwide, calling upon them to come before the Assembly and explain how they regard their moral obligations to these men and women — some of whom worked almost 40 years for the company — who gave them nothing other than loyal service.
"My advice to Ford is as before: pay in full these pensions. Pay it now, before the current of bad public feeling it will accrue as a consequence of its intransigence turns from a trickle into a flood."