The number of British Motor Corporation workers idle because of the strike at Smiths Motor Accessories, Cricklewood, N.W., dropped yesterday to 5,000, with the return of 1,800 Austin workers at Birmingham who had been laid off since Monday. An official of Austins said the models they made would have to be stored until instruments were available.
Jaguar Cars, Ltd., Coventry, sent home about 330 men from the body assembly and paint shops and told them not to return until Monday. The firm said that 400 trim shop employees had begun to work reduced hours.
SMITHS INDUSTRIES STRIKE
Jaguar is to fit all its cars with speedometers marked in kilometers per hour, rather than let the strike of 2,000 workers at Smith Motor Accessories , Cricklewood , affect home deliveries. The instruments will be overlaid with a sheet of transparent plastic marked in miles per hour. Supplies of both types of speedometer have been affected by the strike, but a Jaguar official said last night that there were more of those for export models and by using them deliveries could be maintained to a ” much greater extent. ” Dealers will keep a record of cars sold with the temporary speedometers. When supplies return to normal they, will be replaced by the normal type free of charge. Another 330 men at Jaguar ‘s were laid off last night until Monday in addition to the 650 assembly workers sent home on Wednesday.
The British Motor Corporation is to continue to produce certain models without instruments and to store them. An official said that stocks of speedometers marked in kilometres were larger than those in miles per hour , but there was no intention of following Jaguar ‘s example. Supplies of all types of Smith’ s instruments were limited. Production of Austin cars continued ” with increasing difficulty,” and 3,000 men are still laid off at the Morris assembly plant at Cowley. They have been asked to report for work on Monday as have the 2,000 men laid off at the Birmingham car body factory of Nuffield Metal Products.
A Standard Triumph International official said there was ” no immediate danger ” of men being laid off. There was no change in the company’s position following the ban on overtime for five thousand workers earlier in the week.