By Clifford Webb Midland Industrial Correspondent
Production of BL’s new Mini Metro was halted at Longbridge, Birmingham, yesterday by a strike over management attempts to move one worker to another job within the plant. The walkout-by 500 colleagues threatens to cut deliveries to dealers less than two weeks before the Metro, which is vital to BL’s future, is due to be launched.
The dispute arose out of moves to increase production from the present 1,500 Metros a week to more than 2,000. A second trim and rectification line was started on Monday necessitating the movement of some workers.
Sweeping changes in working practices five months ago included the acceptance by BL employees of management’s right to switch men to similar work within the same factory.
Talks were taking place last night in an attempt to reach a settlement. The 500 strikers agreed to report for work this morning but were not prepared to enter the plant until they knew the outcome of the talks.