Calls for help for the car industry

The UK's biggest union has called for the Government to introduce a package to support Britain's car industry through the economic downturn.

Unite said 70,000 people are employed in the industry and it should not be them and their families that bear the brunt of the errors made by the financial sector, which it blames for the current economic crisis.

The call comes as many car plants remain shut after the Christmas break and amid mounting fears that leading car brands will crumble under the strain of the recession.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said: "2009 is going to be a difficult year. We start it heading into what may prove to be the deepest recession any of us have seen.

"This was a crisis made in the City. The blame lies with the greedy bankers and certainly not with the skilled, hard-working employees of Jaguar, Land Rover and Vauxhall.

"One lesson of this crisis is that Britain needs a strong manufacturing sector. Over-reliance on finance has got us into this mess - let's give the car industry the chance to help us get out of it."

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