Workers at the occupied Visteon (a Ford Motors tax dodging shell) factory in Belfast are facing a court order to leave, which is expected to be granted on Friday. The workers are outraged, among other things, by indications that the management pension scheme was separated out and protected before the main scheme was allowed to go bust. They are occupying the factory until they receive a settlement that is not "derisory".
The Independent reports that:
"Workers holding a sit in protest at the factory in protest at the way they have been treated by the company have been served with a notice of eviction by administrators KPMG which stated that they must leave the site by today."
The BBC, in a more recent update:
"Craig Dunford, counsel for KPMG, told the court the occupiers would be unable to make a case for not leaving the site.
He said : "We say there's absolutely no defence here. We asked them to leave. We say that's the end of the matter, tragic as that is, that's the reality."
Mr Dunford said it was hard to see what arguments could be made to deny the eviction order being sought.
After referring to any possible technical objection, he said: "Other than that we say we are entitled and there's no reason not to make the order."
John Maguire, the Unite shop steward at the plant, said the workers would wait to see what happened in court before deciding whether to voluntarily comply with any expulsion order.
He said: "We will wait and see and make that call after Friday. We don't expect a decision by the court that day, there is still a need for further negotiation." "
The occupation began around April 1st and spread to the company's other site at Enfield, though this site walked out when faced with a similar eviction order, they are instead picketing the outside of the site
There are a number of suspicious circumstances around Visteon, which recently set up a new car parts company, split its pension scheme, is still run by its director and "The firm is reported to have debts of £669million, but £400million of this is owed to its own parent company Visteon Corporation, whose president Donald J Stebbins last year took home £996,928 in salary and bonuses." (source)
The eviction order has been applied for by Visteon's administrator, KPMG, who have a number of offices in Scotland:
37 Albyn Place
191 West George Street
0141 226 5511
20 Castle Terrace
0131 222 2000
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