Almost a quarter of former MG Rover workers are still unemployed

Almost a quarter of former MG Rover workers are outside regular employment 22 months after the car manufacturer closed, according to research.

Trade union Amicus wants the government to introduce stronger labour laws, making it harder for companies to make workers redundant.

The survey was sent to 1,750 Amicus members at Rover to evaluate what happened to the workforce following the factory closure.

Derek Simpson, Amicus general secretary, said: “This survey is damming evidence that the policy supporting flexibility and weak labour laws is actually working against the national interest.

“Well-paid, secure jobs can only be protected by stronger employment laws than we currently enjoy in the UK.”

Simpson added that an EU green paper threatened to further weaken labour laws across the continent.

MG Rover went into administration on 8 April 2005 and closed its Longbridge site in the West Midlands exactly one week later, with the loss of almost 6,000 jobs.

In April 2006, PSA Peugeot Citroen announced the closure of its Ryton car factory in Coventry with the loss of 2,300 jobs.

The British Chambers of Commerce last week claimed that 8,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in January 2007 alone.

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