Former Rover workers to get just £3 each

By Carl Jackson 04/05 Updated: 04/05 14:37

FORMER Rover workers are set to recieve just £3 in compensation after a seven year fight following the collapse of the Longbridge firm in 2005.

Around 6,500 workers will have to share the remaining £22,000 in a trust fund set up for them after last week's High Court battle to secure another £12.5million was lost. Now all legal routes have been exhausted.

Banking giant HBOS withdrew the sum claiming they were owed it when the company dissolved. But, claims that the money was supposed to go to the workers who lost their jobs in 2005 with no payout were thrown out by the court.

Trustee Carl Chinn said: "We are deeply upset and angry with the way that this long-running saga has caused so much distress to so many workers.

Lloyds Banking Group, parent group of HBOS defended the withdrawal, lamenting the major losses they suffered as a lender. The group upheld that they had a responsibility to their shareholders and the taxpayer to minimise their losses.

A statement in 2010 said: "We are very mindful of the hardship MG Rover workers suffered.

"We are playing our part in supporting the region’s economic recovery.

"It is not in anyone’s gift – if indeed that is the intention – to promise to donate money to others that is not legally theirs."

The only chance for fund organisers to secure anymore money is to make an emotional plea to directors at Phoenix Venture Holdings - 'The Phoenix Four' - who owned Rover for five years up until it collapsed.

Northfield MP Richard Burden slammed the former owners and argued they should make sizable donations themselves.

He said: "All this stuff about the case at the High Court is a smokescreen.

"The dispute with HBOS is a commercial one.

"It does not change the promise the Phoenix Four made to their employees.

"They still managed to do very well out of the company financially (when it collapsed).

"The Phoenix directors should personally put £1million each into the Trust Fund.

"It would help them, and the community, to draw a line under the closure and move on.”

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