Bethan Jenkins salutes workers at “beginning of the end of a long, long battle”
Bethan Jenkins AM has hailed the dogged determination of a group of former car workers from Swansea who look to have won their five-year battle to recover their pensions.
The Visteon workers were told in 2009 that the collapse of the auto manufacturer meant that they had also lost their Ford pensions, even though some of them had worked for Ford for over 30 years and for Visteon for as little as six months after it was spun out of the US car giant.
Ford has always denied that it had any responsibility towards the Visteon UK workers, who discovered there was a £350 million black hole in their pension fund. But today, it emerged that Ford has made a multi-million pound offer to settle the claim, ahead of a court case that was due to start later this year.
Bethan, as Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, has supported the 700 workers from and around Swansea – who make up the largest group of all of Visteon UK’s former 3,100 workers – since the start of their struggle. She was in London today to attend a rally marking the fifth anniversary of the dispute.
“This looks to be the beginning of the end of a long, long battle that these men and women have had to endure. It has been extremely tough for many of them, learning that the money they earned and had been put aside for them to rightfully enjoy in retirement was no longer there.
“I want to take this opportunity today to recognise their dogged determination in this fight. Even though it has been long, even though there were times when Ford’s intransigence seemed unshakeable, even when it seemed that the world wasn’t listening, they kept right on going – in fact, they just became more determined.
“From what I understand, this deal still has to be accepted, and that is solely for the workers to decide. So the details have got to be finalized. But, for today, let’s salute this remarkable and inspirational group of men and women. This day is about them.”