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April 28, 2005

UK: Expatriate Rover workers claim to have been abandoned abroad

Rover workers overseas have claimed they have been left high and dry abroad after the car giant collapsed.

Rover workers overseas have claimed they have been left high and dry abroad after the car giant collapsed.

Around 60 staff were told by email they were redundant and said they have been left to find their own flights home from China, South Korea and India, while some have not been paid since March, the Daily Mirror reported.

Keith Edwards, an engineer with Rover in Shanghai for the past 16 months, told the paper: “The situation here has been as terrible as for everyone else back home. In fact, it feels worse as I’ve not had any support either from Rover or the government at all.”

But PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrators for Rover, told the Daily Mirror: “It is true they were informed of redundancy by email, but this was done because writing would have proved too slow.

“However, PricewaterhouseCoopers denies fully that these people have been abandoned.”

Edwards, with Rover for 11 years, told the paper: “To show my commitment, I moved my family out to join me. They would have been stranded out here as well but for the fact they went home for a wedding last week.”

The Daily Mirror said Edwards had already booked a holiday flight home for May 19 but has had to pay £250 out of his own money to bring the date forward.

The paper said getting staff home has been made more difficult because some work for Phoenix Venture Holdings, MG Rover’s parent company, which is privately owned by the ‘Phoenix Four’ directors and has not gone bust – PwC cannot therefore help its workers.

The Amicus union told the Daily Mirror around 11 staff are being flown back but 50 are stranded.

Jenny Britton of PwC told the paper: “We have offered to cover the costs of flights as well as accommodation for these workers, no matter if they were contracted to Rover or PVH.”

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