Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 15:15 UK

Jobs go as city car factory shuts

Visteon image

Union leaders say workers will occupy the Visteon car parts factory in Belfast until they can reach agreement over terms of redundancy.

Earlier on Tuesday the company announced the closure of the plant with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

It is also closing two other UK factories in in Basildon and Enfield.

Davy McMurray, from the Unite trade union in Northern Ireland said the way the job cuts were announced was "brutal."

"The administrators came in, took a meeting of the workforce and told them their employment was terminated."

Mr McMurray said that because the company is in administration the workers will only get statutory redundancy payments.

Visteon took over the former Ford plant in Belfast in 2000.

On Tuesday, administrators KPMG said it had no alternative but to close the factories.

It said the business had not been profitable "since its incorporation in 2000" and Visteon UK's reported losses totalled £669m.

John Hansen, joint administrator, said: "The entire automotive supply chain has been under pressure for a number of years.

"In the current economic downturn, car sales have dropped dramatically, which has caused further severe pressure on parts suppliers."

KPMG said a separate UK company, Visteon Engineering Services Ltd, was unaffected by the move and would continue "to trade as normal".

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