[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Rover workers get 5,000 pay-out
Rover worker walks past banner calling for action to save jobs
Rumours persist about a saviour for Rover, but time has all but run out
MG Rover workers who lost their jobs after the UK car maker went into administration have received redundancy pay-outs averaging 5,000.

The payments total 20m and have been speeded up to help families affected, Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt said.

More than 5,000 workers at MG Rover's Longbridge plant in Birmingham have been made redundant, and about 4,000 already have been paid, Ms Hewitt said.

Worker representatives welcomed the move but said more money may be owed.

'More needed'

A spokeswoman for the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) said it was "excellent" that the workers were getting some money. She said the sum - equivalent to about $9,500 - was in line with what had been expected.

However, the spokeswoman said that because of the speed of the redundancies, many MG Rover workers did not get their statutory 90-day notice period and, as a result, were owed money.

(MG Rover workers) were desperately worried about paying mortgages and other commitments
Patricia Hewitt, UK Trade Secretary

Analysts said that the most likely outcome for MG Rover was that the firm would be broken up.

Ms Hewitt said that while there were firms interested in buying MG Rover assets, that would not necessarily help save jobs.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) say they have been contacted by 200 firms from around the world interested in buying the assets, divisions and brands of MG Rover.

Newspaper reports over the past couple of weeks have linked MG Rover with possible buyers from countries including China, Russia and Iran.

Worries

Speaking in the West Midlands as she campaigned ahead of Thursday's general election, Ms Hewitt said that every MG Rover worker who had made a claim received money.

"When I met many of the workers and their families on the day MG Rover went into administration, they asked me to speed the payments up because they were desperately worried about paying mortgages and other commitments," she explained.

"I am delighted that we have been able to meet that request."

The payments will be funded by taxpayers and are part of a 150m support package pledged by the government.

Ms Hewitt said that the total redundancy package paid out to workers will be close to 50m.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch workers leave Rover's Longbridge plant for the final time



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific