UK’’s biggest trade union wants govt bailout for Tata owned Jaguar before Christmas

December 23rd, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 23 (ANI): Britain’’s biggest trade union has backed Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover to get British Government’’s financial support before Christmas.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said that there was little reason for the Government not to act now that Jaguar Land Rover’’s owner, Tata Motors of India, had injected more cash.

The carmaker, which employs 15,000 people in Britain, was reported to have received “tens of millions” from Tata, which will stave off an immediate cash flow crisis while ministers consider the case for a taxpayer-funded bailout, The Times reported.

“I”m delighted that Tata has put more financing into the company. It is obviously right that they do so, having bought it only nine months ago,” Woodley said.

“I would now be extremely surprised if the Government did not give financial support to the company as well - and I would be very surprised if it wasn”t this side of Christmas. I would be disappointed if there was not confirmation of the availability of a loan or credit guarantees at least,” he added.

Despite Woodley’’s optimism, senior Whitehall sources insist that a bailout is unlikely to come before Christmas.

A key sticking point is believed to be the willingness of Tata to open its books. Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, was said to be “playing hard-ball” with the company on this issue, the paper reported.

About 40 million pounds worth of bills are thought to have been due for payment yesterday and it is understood that this is why an immediate cash injection from Tata was required.

Mark Foster, a Jaguar Land Rover spokesman, refused last night to confirm that Tata had made an extra payment yesterday.

Tata Motors, which bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in March for 2.3 billion dollars, borrowed 3 billion dollars to finance the acquisition and to step up production of its low-cost Nano model. (ANI)

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