Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson is having crisis talks with bosses of ailing car firm
Rover to discuss the companys future.
Union officials were told yesterday that 2,400 jobs must go at the Longbridge plant in
Birmingham to reduce costs.
There are also fears that production of the new mini will be switched to Cowley, Oxford
and that other models planned for Longbridge might be axed.
But Tony Woodley, chief negotiator of the TGWU, said today that he was confident that
the Longbridge factory, which currently employs 14,000, would survive.
"I believe this is a short-term crisis resulting from the high value of the pound
and from a general fall in sales.
"It is a very difficult time but no company could continue to sustain the losses
Rover is experiencing and survive.
"Cutting jobs is a short term solution. Rover now needs to put together a
long-term business solution so the workers have some guarantees about their future.
"I am pleased to see that Rover is now having talks with government ministers.
Until now it has only been myself and my colleagues who have had discussions with the
Mr Woodley has also pledged his support to workers in the car components industry in
Coventry and Warwickshire who could be affected by the change of fortunes at Rover.
Economic development experts at Coventry City Council have also vowed to do everything
possible to protect the area's motor components suppliers.