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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Talks over future of car factory
Land Rover Freelander
Production of the Freelander is to stop in the West Midlands
The head of the trade union Amicus is visiting Land Rover on Monday for talks about the future of the car maker's Solihull factory.

Duncan Simpson's visit follows the decision by Land Rover's parent company Ford to move production of the Freelander from the West Midlands.

The model will be made at Jaguar's Halewood plant on Merseyside in future.

Mr Simpson said it was "crucial" that guarantees could be made about investment at the Solihull plant.

Pay row

The general secretary of Amicus said the decision to switch production of the Freelander to Merseyside had been a "disappointment" for the workforce in the West Midlands.

But Mr Simpson said he hoped to discuss ways of ensuring future models are made at the factory, adding that his union was committed to working with Land Rover to improve employment opportunities in Solihull.

Thousands of its workers in the West Midlands recently went on strike, complaining they were underpaid compared with colleagues at fellow Ford-owned company Jaguar.

The issue was resolved last month, with staff voting for an offer worth about 6.5% over two years.

But Land Rover's management warned the industrial action could put the future of the Solihull plant at risk by making it difficult to justify new investment there.

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19 Feb 04  |  Business
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09 Feb 04  |  West Midlands
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18 Jul 03  |  West Midlands

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