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Wednesday 31 October 2012 Updated: 02/11 12:14
UNION chiefs have slammed London Taxi International administrators for making 156 workers redundant - 99 at the headquarters in Coventry - just a day after taking over the running of the cash-strapped firm.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had said it was in discussions with several parties interested in buying the Holyhead Road-based black cab maker.
But in a statement on Wednesday night said they had no choice be get rid of what amounts to half the UK workforce to 'overcome the group's operational issues' but insisted there were enough workers left to ensure the firm would continue to operate.
Roger Maddison, Unite national officer for the automotive industry, said: "Only last night (Tuesday) PWC were telling us there were significant interested parties.
"Now the administrators are ruthlessly sacking over 150 highly skilled workers at the iconic black cab maker.
"The black cabs are world famous and we believe this company has a future. How can PWC treat this company as a going concern with virtually no staff?
"The black cab is part of Britain's car manufacturing heritage; the government must now be on standby to save this historic company from being left to the vultures."
Manganese Bronze, LTI's parent company, had previously agreed to suspend sales while a recall relating to a faulty steering box.
Matthew Hammond, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: "Regretfully, without financial support to overcome the Group's operational issues we have had to make staff redundancies.
"While the steering box recall remains, there is a voluntary suspension on vehicle sales, and we are now concentrating all resources on testing the solution to the steering fault. We have retained sufficient numbers of staff across the dealership, head office and production network to address the operational, technical and financial circumstances that the business faces."
In total 108 staff have been retained or laid off. The 12 that have been laid off have been sent home on partial pay and will be called back into work should vehicle production start up again.
Of the 176 employees based at the head office and manufacturing site in Coventry, 99 have been made redundant and of the 98 employees based at the dealerships in London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Coventry, 57 have been made redundant.
The retained staff based in Coventry will continue to focus on finding a solution for the steering fault alongside head office resource to keep the business running.
The remaining staff based in the dealerships across the UK will continue to service taxis and will be involved in the steering box refit once a solution has been found.
Are you one of the workers being made redundant? Call the newsdesk on 01926 317110
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