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April 18, 2005

UK: MG Rover task force discussing ways to help redundant workers

A task force set up after the collapse of MG Rover reportedly is meeting on Monday to discuss help for redundant workers.

A task force set up after the collapse of MG Rover reportedly is meeting on Monday to discuss help for redundant workers.

The BBC said it will speed up plans to distribute £150 million of government aid, which is also to be used to help Rover’s suppliers. Helplines have been set up for the 5,000 workers, who are set to receive redundancy notices by mail.

The broadcaster noted that the chairman of MG Rover owner Phoenix Venture Holdings, John Towers, has defended the amount of money he made from Rover, and is due to meet administrators.

The task force reportedly includes politicians, union leaders and business officials.

The £150 million support package includes more than £60 million to help diversify industry in the Longbridge area of Birmingham that is home to the car plant, and to support MG Rover’s supply chain, the BBC said, adding that a further £50 million will fund retraining, while £40 million will be used for statutory redundancy payments.

The BBC noted that, in addition to the 5,000 MG Rover jobs already lost, a further 1,000 workers kept on to complete unfinished cars could also go once their work is done.

Redundant workers will be told when to attend a centre being set up at Longbridge to give them advice on retraining and job vacancies in the region, the report said.

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