Workers at Coventry-based black cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze in talks with bosses as firm announces 156 redundancies


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The Independent Online

Workers at the troubled maker of London black cabs have secured talks with company bosses following a sit-in protest after being told of job losses.

A handful of workers at Coventry-based Manganese Bronze locked themselves in the factory last night after administrator PWC was called in because of a failure to gain new funding.

Unite expressed "outrage" that 156 workers were to be made redundant and called on the Government to step in to save the manufacturer of the famous vehicle.

Peter Coulson, regional officer for Unite, said the workers' demonstration ended at around 7pm last night and talks would be held to see if temporary measures could be put in place to secure short-term funding for workers.

He said: "We're not building any hopes up, the administrators aren't either, but we're seeking to reinstate these dismissed workers even if it's for a short period."

National officer Roger Maddison said yesterday: "Only last night PWC were telling us there were significant interested parties. Now the administrators are ruthlessly sacking over 150 highly-skilled workers.

"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."

The administrators said later that they had met staff to explain that, "regrettably", there will be 156 redundancies with immediate effect.

Of the 176 employees based at the group's 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.