News articles on Ford

Visteon: when workers are forced to fight – Article from Socialism Today  – socialist party UK Newsletter  Issue 129

Ford conspires against Visteon workers – John Mc Anulty

VISTEON: Workers’ occupations take on the bosses – Permanent Revolution

Film screenings inside Ford Visteon factory, short film and photographic documentation.

In March 2009, the Ford Visteon Factory in Belfast announced the closure of the factory with the loss of 200 jobs. In a speech that lasted less than seven minutes, workers were informed by KPMG liquidators that their jobs were gone, as well as their pensions, and that there was no redundancy deal on offer. Some workers had spent over 40 years in the company. Despite the Belfast plant being profitable, their jobs had been outsourced to Eastern Europe and South Africa to non-unionised plants. Workers at the factory refused to accept this treatment and decided to take control of the factory. For over two months, the workers staged 24-hour pickets, roof-top protests, lobbies and demonstrations. The occupation ended with Ford paying out the largest settlement in the history of the company. Local press photographers were given instructions by their bosses not to photograph workers inside the factory, as they were informed that the workers were breaking the law by occupying the factory. Photographers were told they would only print photographs in the paper that were taken outside the factory.

Inside the factory during the occupation, Augustine O’Donoghue screened a number of documentary films about worker occupations and workers’ struggles around the world. During post-screening discussions, workers were surprised to find so many commonalities with similar labour disputes around the world, that they had previously been unaware of. The artist made a short film with one of the workers, who talks about his experience during the occupation, and a series of photographs was also taken inside the factory during the occupation.