FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, AUG. 27
The unofficial strike of 35 workers at the British Motor Corporation’s tractor and transmission branch, at Ward End, which threatens production of the corporation’s new Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor models, was joined by another 100 men to-day.
Machinists engaged on front suspension and differential, units for the cars stopped work after giving the management an hour in which to offer them interim piece-work rates to increase their earnings. They claim that their present rate of 6s. an hour is about 2s. an hour less than the average in the factory. The men walked out after the management had rejected their ultimatum.
Mr J. Morrison, chairman of the shop stewards’ committee, said:
“The management appear to have priced the new car without pricing the job. All we ask is that our piece-work rates should be brought into line with the rest of the factory.”
The only move that could end the stoppage, he claimed, was a reasonable offer from the management.
A B.M.C. official said today:
“These employees now on unofficial strike will have an opportunity of earning rates comparable with other workers in the factory when the prices are fixed and they acquire sufficient dexterity. If they come back to work we will discuss the matter with them.”
Production of the two new cars at Longbridge and at Cowley would be affected early next week unless the stoppage was settled, he added.
B.M.C’S CHAIRMAN “DELIGHTED”
Sir Leonard Lord , chairman of the British Motor Corporation , said in a statement issued before he sailed for New York last night that he was delighted with the reception of the new Morris and Austin small cars at home and abroad. Over 3,000 had already been delivered to export markets. Sir Leonard added that in addition to the development , tooling, and production of the new cars , the outstanding achievement of the last financial year had been the smooth change-over and introduction of the completely new range of Austin and Morris models.
“Industrial disputes during the period lost us some of the advantage of our extra manufacturing capacity. Nevertheless the output of vehicles for the year was 484,426 , which was 20,286 less than the previous record. ”
BMC Baby Car
There is already a nine month waiting list for the two new cars , both priced at just under £500 .