Estimates last night put the total number of men laid off in the motor industry as a result of the strike at Pressed Steel Fisher’s car-body plant at well over 10,000. This included 5,500 at the plant itself, at Cowley, Oxford. Pressed Steel Fisher announced that a further 1,500 men would be sent home today, and the plant would be virtually closed.
Last night the Department of Employment and Productivity invited all the parties to a meeting this morning. Some 200 electricians and patternmakers stopped work on Monday in protest at a proposed new wage structure, which has been rejected by their unions.
Production of car bodies for British Leyland Motors, Rootes, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce has been at a halt since then.
Production was at a standstill yesterday at the Rover factory at Solihull , and by mid-afternoon the number of workers idle there had increased from 1,200 to 1,750.
Jaguar’s at Coventry, who who on Tuesday night laid off 1,000 men, sent home a further 500 yesterday, and saloon car production was at a standstill. But a spokesman for BMC said that there were no effects yesterday at either the Austin plant in Birmingham or the Morris factory at Oxford.