As the unofficial strike of 160 crane drivers and slingers continued at the British Motor Corporation’s car body building factory of Fisher and Ludlow, Ltd., Birmingham, the number of Midland car workers made idle rose to about 14,000 here to-day.
Tomorrow there is to be a mass meeting of the strikers and if they do not decide to resume work then many thousands of other workers will be thrown out of work. The position altered little throughout the day as forecasts of the effects of the stoppage largely came to pass.
About 8,000 workers are now affected at the two Fisher and Ludlow factories; about 5,000 at the Austin factory at Longbridge: 400 at the Morris commercial factory at Birmingham.
SOME ON SHORT TIME
At Coventry the Standard Motor Company laid off between 500 and 600 men during the day, and about 1,500 others were put on short time working. At another car body factory in Birmingham, Mulliners Ltd., 150 men were affected. There has been no meeting of the strikers since Tuesday. when they decided to continue the stoppage, which has been caused by a claim for an accident-free bonus.
The claim has already passed through two stages of the negotiating machinery but the men decided not to wait for the third stage -reference of the claim to the central conference at York-before taking direct action. The men, who are members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, are asking for a bonus of 45s. a month for freedom from accidents involving damage to plant and equipment. They say it is already being paid to transport workers.