By CLIFFORD WEBB,
Midland Industrial Correspondent
British Leyland’s labour troubles worsened last night when 1,200 assembly workers at Standard Triumph, Coventry, were laid off and production of all models except the TR6 sports car stopped through a 10-day-old strike of delivery drivers. No cars have left the plant since Monday week ,With all available storage space now taken up only very limited production is possible. This, too is expected to cease during the next few days unless the strike deadlock is broken.
Progressive laying off of several thousand more of the 11,000 employed in Standard Triumph factories at Coventry and at Liverpool will almost certainly follow before the weekend. Fifty delivery drivers employed by Progressive Deliveries, of Coventry; have been dismissed for refusing to accept rationalization plans involving a move to a new depot. As a result, Transport and General Workers Union drivers have “blacked” the movement of all new cars from Standard Triumph.
The Department of Employment and Productivity was in touch with both sides last night but there were no signs of compromise moves. Production of nearly 2,000 Minis has already been lost at Longbridge as a result of a continuing strike by 200 body assembly workers which began on Monday. A further 1,100 have been laid off.
At British Leyland, Cowley, production of the Austin Maxi continues to be halved by a go slow at the adjoining Pressed Steel Fisher body plant. Body supplies to British Leyland and Rootes assembly plants are also threatened by another transport dispute. Drivers at the Oxford depot of British Road Services, who ferry bodies from Pressed Steel Fisher, have warned that they will strike next Monday in support of 50 fitters at the depot who have been on strike for more than a week.
About 300 men stopped work at Morris Motors, Oxford, yesterday because of the transfer of a colleague, so another 300 were laid off, and, in turn, 400 were sent home at the Pressed Steel Fisher supplying factory at Swindon, Wilts.