Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting BA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
MG Rover workers lose seven year battle for compensation
10:40am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in Local
A SEVEN year battle by former MG Rover workers for a four-figure compensation payout has been lost after it was announced a trust fund is to be wound up.
Campaigners from the Justice for Rover Workers group say their fight for compensation is at an end after a plea to the former owners, Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH), for personal contributions to be made to the fund was rejected.
John Towers, Peter Beale, John Edwards and Nick Stephenson, the four executives of PVH, dubbed the “Phoenix Four”, bought the Longbridge-based firm for £10 in 2000, paying themselves £40m in pay and pensions.
When the company collapsed in 2005, the directors promised to set up a trust fund putting in what would amount to thousands of pounds for each of the workers who lost their jobs.
PVH said the money for the fund was the subject of a legal battle with banking giant HBOS.
In May, the Advertiser reported HBOS had withdrawn £12.5 million from the money earmarked for ex-workers, leaving just £22,000 in trust fund coffers.
It meant the former employees were in line for a tiny payout of just £3 each.
Campaigners say it has now been confirmed by PVH that with all legal avenues pursued by them not proving fruitful, there is no more money for the fund.
With the ex-directors also refusing the request to make a personal donation, campaigners have taken the decision to close the fund.
Oliver Thomas, a former Longbridge employee and co-ordinator of the Justice for Rovers Workers Group, described the news as a sad end to a long running saga.
He said: “Thanks to everyone who has supported this campaign.
"We have reached the end of the line - after all this waiting, we are to end up with nothing.”
He added many of the generous workers, in a selfless gesture, now wanted the money to be donated to charity, an option being considered.
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: “Former MG Rover workers have been very badly let down by the Phoenix Four and their decision not to make any meaningful donation to the fund.
“The Phoenix Four have resisted all attempts to make them honour their 2005 pledge to help those who were made redundant.
“While a deserving charity may benefit, it is a great shame that a more just outcome could not be secured for the workers.”