Hopes of settlement in car parts workers' protest

Worker protests against job cuts at car parts firm Visteon are still underway, a week after the protests spread across the UK. Rallies and demonstrations have taken place at the company's factories in Basildon in Essex, Enfield in north London, and Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Around 600 jobs are to be axed and angry staff want posts saved or better redundancy packages. They claimed the company's former owner and main customer Ford promised contracts which should be honoured.

Unite union Irish regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: "Quite a lot of these employees have spent their working lives at this company. To be rewarded with their jobs being extinguished at a stroke of an administrator's pen is not the way to be treated.

"The loss of these jobs for the west Belfast area is a hammer blow to the community which has been hard-pressed to see well-paid and skilled employment locate there. The Finaghy workers deserve fairer treatment from Visteon and Ford and a better redundancy package to see them through the tough times ahead."

Up to 80 of those affected took to the roof in Enfield and pledged to remain until Visteon agreed to meet Unite - Visteon and Unite have since held talks in New York and plan another meeting in the UK for Tuesday. A similar number were outside the factory in Basildon. Around 100 held an overnight sit-in in Belfast.

Unite's Roger Madison said that while they did not believe there was a possibility of Visteon re-opening the sites, they were ready to improve redundancy terms for staff.

Visteon blamed massive losses for the decision to shut the UK operation.

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