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Workers at a former Ford motors supplier given option on pension settlement
Motor industry workers left out of pocket when their pension scheme collapsed must choose between a compensation offer or taking their former employer to the High Court.
Former workers at the Visteon plant in Mollison Avenue, Ponders End saw their pension scheme, which started when they were employed by Ford, collapse when the small company went bust.
Campaigners in a five-year struggle for the pension to be repaid were given welcome news that Ford will make an offer to every person who lost out.
Now workers must decide whether to take the Ford offer or to take the car giant to the High Court in November.
Visteon, which went bust on March 31, 2009, was an injection moulding firm for Ford and workers at the Enfield plant had started their pension plan with Ford before the split.
Visteon Pension Action Group’s Dennis Varney, urged former staff to accept the offer put forward by Ford.
He said: “We [VPAG] have worked hard with Unite to negotiate an offer with Ford and we would urge people to take up this offer.
“Of course, we will continue to back people who chose to take this to the High Court.”
Workers at plants all over the UK will be given the same choice, but Ford has made a stipulation that requires 95 per cent of all workers to accept the offer or it will be withdrawn.
Derek Richings of Bush Hill Park, an Enfield member of VPAG, said: “It has been a long struggle and although this is not what we fully paid in for, it will allow everyone to get something. 95 per cent is a very high threshold and would rely on a lot of people accepting the current offer.”
Mr Richings believes that if the case is taken to the High Court, not every person will be able to claim compensation.
Former Visteon workers are due to be sent their offer in the next week.
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