Former Longbridge workers are to donate £20,000 to children’s charity Acorns – nearly eight years after the Phoenix Four pledged payouts to redundant employees.
MG Rover fund trustees are to meet on November 21 to approve the payment to the popular children’s charity after finally throwing in the towel over the fight for cash for ex MG Rover staff.
The decision will bring an end to a saga which began in April 2005, when former Phoenix Venture Holdings chairman John Towers pledged up to £30 million for around 6,500 redundant Longbridge workers.
The trustees are set to formally wind up the MG Rover Trust Fund with the donation to Acorns – ending long-held hopes of potential four-figure payouts for ex car workers.
Birmingham historian Carl Chinn, one of the four trustees, said: “We have consulted as widely as possible and the great majority of people who have contacted us feel that the money should go to Acorns.
“We are arranging a meeting of the Trustees on November 21 to discuss this. Acorns is in the South-West of Birmingham and is a charity that the Longbridge community supports.
“But we remain deeply disappointed and upset that no more money has been put into the Trust Fund.
“We made repeated requests to the Phoenix Four to put in funds and the response, through an intermediary, has been no.
‘‘The union shares our upset, anger and disappointment. Acorns will now benefit to the tune of just over £20,000.”
The Phoenix Four’s promise of cash payouts to workers melted away after banking giant HBOS withdrew £12.5 million earmarked for ex-employees and the High Court rejected a bid for a reprieve.
The donation to Acorns was welcomed on the Justice for Rover Workers website. Kelly Baker wrote: “It is a sad end for many of us. With regards to the Trust Fund monies I think Acorns would be the most deserving charity. As Fleet Manager at MG Rover we had a lot of interaction with Acorns and supplied them cars.”