Hundreds of millions of pounds
of government money should be used to make Rover a public company,
according to a Socialist councillor.
Former Coventry MP Dave
Nellist has called for the money being made available to tackle the
fall-out from the Rover sale to be diverted.
He claims that it would be
better used to take the beleaguered firm into public ownership, and
thus save the thousands of jobs that are under threat.
And delegates from the West
Midlands Regional Council of Manufacturing Science Finance (MSF)
backed the calls at a special conference at the weekend.
Cllr Nellist, who is leader of
the Socialist Group on Coventry City Council and national chair of the
Socialist Alliance, won support for a motion calling for public
The delegates met at Aston
University on Saturday at a special conference to discuss the crisis.
A motion brought by Cllr
Nellist also demanded that trade unions be given access to the books
so they can see the true situation at Rover.
"Tens of thousands of
workers in our area face an uncertain future, as behind closed doors
various asset strippers pick over the bones of the Midlands car
“No private sector
solution guarantees the jobs of all Rover workers and those in
“BMW's assets in Britain
should be taken back into public ownership and a plan drawn up, in
conjunction with Rover workers themselves, for public investment
under public control to produce a new product range that will better
address the real transport needs of the whole of society."
The text of the motion read:
"This Regional Council
gives 100% support to Rover workers and those in the component
industry, in the battle to save jobs; believes that trades unions
should be given immediate access to the books of BMW to see how
subsidies, profits and internal transfers have affected the
financial health of the business, and that with tens of thousands of
jobs affected there should be no excuse of 'business secrecy' hiding
the facts from those most closely involved; demands an end to asset
stripping and no movement of production facilities without the
agreement of all plants concerned; and believes that, with hundreds
of millions of pounds of public money coming into this region to
deal with the consequences of the break-up of Rover, that such
public money should come now to retain Rover jobs, but that
ownership of Rover, which BMW has given away, should now be
transferred to the public sector."