Archive : Rover faces pension fund talks

Union leaders are to meet the Birmingham-based car group MG Rover after it was announced that a £12.9m trust has been set up for senior executives.

The meeting, which was arranged before details of the fund were made public, will take place next week. The trust is designed to cover post-retirement benefits for the company’s owners, but workers representatives have expressed concern about the size of the fund in light of a £95m loss announced in the recently released 2002 accounts.

Earlier this year, staff at the firm’s Longbridge plant voted to strike over pay, with action only averted by an offer of improved terms.

‘Good relations’

A spokeswoman for MG Rover confirmed talks with union officials arranged some weeks ago will still take place. She said: “The company has a meeting scheduled next week with national level representatives. A number of issues will be discussed including the 2002 company accounts.”

The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), along with Amicus, will be among those attending the meeting. Relations between workers and managers at MG Rover have on the whole been good since the massive Longbridge plant was saved from closure in 2000.

A T&G spokeswoman said: “Despite the strike ballot earlier this year, there has been no deterioration in relations with the company and we certainly haven’t tried to publicise our concerns over the trust fund. “But we feel it doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of co-operation we saw when the consortium came together to save Longbridge.”

Keith Adams

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