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Union reacts to Mini investment

Unite has hailed BMW Group's decision to invest £250m into its UK plants in Oxford, and Swindon as a "ray of sunshine".

The company announced the cash boost during a visit by Business Secretary Vince Cable this morning.

Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary, said: "This major boost in investment is tribute and reward for the dedicated and hard-working workforce at Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall.

"The British car industry is once again a ray of sunshine in gloomy times for British manufacturing.

"The UK has the potential to be a manufacturing success story, if we had a Government which was prepared to roll its sleeves up and intervene to support employers up and down the UK."

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Major investment for region's Mini plants

The production line at the BMW UK Mini plant in Oxford Credit: PA

BMW is to invest £250m in its UK Mini factories, including those in Swindon and Oxford, over the next three years.

The announcement was made during a visit by Business Secretary Vince Cable to the Oxford plant, on the day when the Olympic Torch Relay will also pass.

The announcement comes on top of a £500m investment promise in June last year.

BMW said the investment showed its commitment to Britain "as a vital manufacturing base".

New pay offer in Mini dispute

BMW has announced a new pay offer following discussions with the UNITE union, in the hope that a strike at its Mini plant in Oxford can be avoided. In a joint statement the company said:

Following constructive and productive discussions, we have reached agreement on a pay offer which will be recommended for acceptance by the union.

The details of this offer are being put to the workforce today and a ballot will follow subsequently. The offer is as follows: 4.5% increase in base pay effective 1 January 2012, 2.3% increase in base pay effective 1 January 2013."

– Rebecca Baxter, External Communications Manager

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