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T&G wants DTI investigation over TVR

The Transport and General Workers’ Union has today called for a Department of Trade and Industry investigation into circumstances surrounding the sale, administration and subsequent purchase of TVR by Nikolai Smolenski.

Smolenski confirmed in a briefing to the media this afternoon that the bulk of TVRs car production in Blackpool will be moved out of the UK.

Last week administrators PKF announced that TVR's manufacturing arm, Blackpool Motors, had been sold to a company owned by previous owner Smolenski. The T&G said it raised ‘serious concerns amongst the workforce that Smolenski has been able to offload his debts to the taxpayer while getting most of this money back, and leaving nearly three hundred workers out of a job in Blackpool’.

In a letter to Alistair Darling, secretary of state for trade and industry, T&G national organiser Peter Booth says: “Nearly 300 workers formerly employed at TVR in Blackpool are now out of work as a result of the company going into administration at the end of last year and the news that production will move out of the area.

“Bids were invited for the assets of the company, but as Smolenski was the main creditor having given loans to the company amounting to millions of pounds, the bidding system automatically placed him at an unfair advantage as he would receive back most of what he bid.

“This process has allowed Smolenski to offload his debts; get most of his money back; take the majority of the business out of the country; leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill for redundancy, notice and holiday pay, and nearly 300 loyal workers without a job.

“In addition to a DTI investigation, we strongly urge the Government to examine how legislation can be progressed to prevent such cynical actions that allow unscrupulous business owners to exploit British enterprise law to the detriment of British workers and the British taxpayer.”

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