Car firm cannot pay workers' wages

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The Independent Online

Korean car company Daewoo has told workers at its main UK factory it cannot afford to pay their wages.

Korean car company Daewoo has told workers at its main UK factory it cannot afford to pay their wages.

Confirmation letters were sent to about 750 staff at its Technical Centre in Worthing, West Sussex.

They stated funding arrangements with the group's creditors were under way following a breakdown of negotiations for a takeover by Ford.

The South Korean conglomerate was placed under a restructuring programme a year ago after reporting debts running into billions of pounds.

The workforce has been given time off to explain to their banks and building societies why their monthly salaries were not paid.

It is the fourth time in recent months that salaries have not been paid on time and staff are said to be "outraged".

Manufacturing Science and Finance Union officials were seeking urgent talks with the company and with Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers to see what the Government could do.

Regional officer Dave Fleming said the skilled technicians, designers, computer analysts and other craftsmen, who earn up to £30,000 a year, now feared for their future.

He added: "The workers are being treated with contempt and the decision to withhold their pay is completely unacceptable."

Staff were told management were doing their best to pay salaries into accounts and an update will be given on Monday.

A company official said there were no funds available from Daewoo's base in Seoul to pay salaries on time.

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