Former workers at the Visteon car parts factory in Swansea, whose pensions were hit when the company went into administration, have agreed a compensation deal with motoring giant Ford.
In April, Ford - which used to run the plant at Swansea and several others in England - made a multi-million pound offer to workers, and the Unite union confirmed today that workers have accepted the offer.
The Unite union described its talks with Ford as "lengthy but constructive".
Unite has concluded an agreement with Ford to make a settlement offer to eligible ex-Visteon employees who filed legal claims in connection with reductions in their pensions resulting from Visteon UK being put into administration in 2009.
The settlement would avoid further expense for participants in the case and will settle the legal claims that these individuals have made against Ford.
Details of the settlement are confidential and a private matter for those directly involved.
Ford has had an on-going, voluntary dialogue with MPs and on two occasions has briefed UK politicians on its position regarding Visteon pensions. Both meetings addressed matters that have been raised by MPs on behalf of their constituents.
A legal claim connected with the Visteon pensions’ issue was filed against Ford in January 2011 and a court date has been set to hear the case. The legal process limits the level of engagement that is possible on this issue but Ford has responded to letters both from MPs and from Welsh Assembly Members.
Ford’s position on this issue has remained unchanged. While Ford recognises the severity of the situation for former Visteon UK employees, Visteon became an independent company in 2000 and was responsible for its own business decisions.
Ford has fulfilled both its legal and moral responsibilities to former Visteon employees.
MPs will hold a debate later today over car manufacturer Ford's moral duty to former Visteon workers who lost their pensions when their employer went into administration.
Visteon UK went into administration in 2009 with 3,000 workers losing their jobs. The majority of workers transferred to Visteon from Ford and were promised their terms and conditions would be protected.
Following a long campaign and several sit-ins, a fair redundancy settlement was reached, but the workers lost 45% of their pension entitlement.
Large numbers of pensioners from the four ex Ford / Visteon sites in Swansea, Belfast, Basildon and Enfield will attend the debate.
Unite national officer Roger Maddison said:
'Ford has a legal and moral obligation to the thousands of ex-employees who paid into its pension scheme all their working lives. We believe the government should be putting pressure on Ford to pay up.'
About 200 former workers from Visteon in Swansea, who claim they lost out on their pensions, are handing in a petition to Downing Street today. A High Court hearing is due to take place in May involving all former Visteon car parts workers.
Visteon took over Ford's operations in 2000, and workers were transferred into the new organisation. The firm then went into administration in 2009 and employees claim they lost significant amounts of money. Some say as much as 40% of the expected value of their retirement pensions was lost.
Workers say Ford should have given their pensions greater protections, but the company says is was not their responsibility once Visteon was created. Ford has previously said that it views the claim as being without merit, and will defend its position vigorously.