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Rover Plea - Give Us A Break

Around 280 workers at Rover’s Gaydon plant are to take voluntary redundancy as the job losses announced at the beginning of the year begin to take effect.

The cuts, which represent 7% of the site’s entire workforce, have received huge coverage in the media but the company’s corporate communications manager Vince Hammersley believes Rover are being unfairly treated.

He said:

"These are not sudden announcements they are the same job losses that were dominating the headlines over three months ago.

"I told people then that it would be a long-term process and the effects of it would rumble on for a few months but what is happening is that all of the snappers and scribblers are taking Rover to the cleaners at every stage along the line.

"This is a double edged sword because it is beginning to effect sales and if sales are affected then the company could find itself in a position of being able to fund less jobs, so it is very counter-productive."

Hammersley also feels that the company has taken several steps to ensure that the staff are treated as fairly as possible.

"All of them are voluntary redundancies and wherever possible we have tried to move people from one site to another to keep as many employees as possible.

"We have just opened a new 300 million pound production facility at Rover Oxford for the new 75 model, and this has created 800 jobs which will be mostly filled by employees moving from other sites."

The communications manager believes that the current changes faced by Rover were inevitable once German car giants BMW acquired the company.

"The company is going though a transformation from top to bottom because we are having to turn two massive organisations into one effective unit.

"You can see this from the fact that senior management within both companies have also had to be streamlined as part of the reorganisation."

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CWN / Business / Motoring / Rover / 27 May 1999

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