South West Wales

Swansea Visteon pensioners take campaign to Westminster

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFord says Visteon was an independent business that was responsible for its own decisions.

Former workers at the Visteon car parts factory in Swansea have taken their campaign over pensions to Westminster on the fourth anniversary of the company going into administration.

They say they lost out when Visteon collapsed and the factory shut in 2009.

They want the plant's former owner Ford to cover their losses, as the pensions were transferred from there to Visteon.

But Ford says Visteon was an independent business that was responsible for its own decisions.

Ex-employees and their families from Swansea joined others from around the UK when they delivered a letter to the prime minister calling for David Cameron to support their cause.

John Elvins, who worked at the factory for nearly 40 years, told BBC Wales: "I had a 30 years Ford pension, which I then transferred to Visteon.

"I then had eight years working in Visteon and I've ended up with a 24-year pension, so I've lost a considerable amount.

"My Ford pension would have been safe had I left it with Ford. I was advised it would be better for me to transfer it, by Ford motor company, to the Visteon scheme because it was perfectly safe and as such I've suffered a loss as a consequence."

A Ford spokesman said: "While Ford recognises the severity of the situation for former Visteon UK employees, Visteon became an independent company in 2000 and was responsible for its own business decisions.

"Ford fully fulfilled both its legal and moral responsibilities to former Visteon UK employees."

He said Ford was not involved in the decision to put Visteon into administration and questions about its pension fund should be answered by the management of Visteon UK and the fund's trustees.

Trade union Unite says Ford guaranteed to protect workers' terms and conditions when they transferred to Visteon.

The union, which began legal action against Ford in the High Court in January 2011, said the UK government should put pressure on the motor giant to "pay up".

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Labour MP Sian James invited the prime minister to meet the Visteon Pensioners Action Group.

Mr Cameron said he could not attend as he had a prior engagement with Labour party leader Ed Miliband to discuss the Leveson inquiry.

However, he pledged his support for pensioners to "achieve proper dignity in old age".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites