2,000 are laid off at Cowley
From Our Correspondent, Oxford
After seeing its hopes of a return to work dashed by two decisive rejections of peace moves, Austin Rover reacted swiftly yesterday by laying-off 2,000 men, and women in Cowley until further notice.
The union claimed that its members were. being locked out. Proposals that 44 paint-shop cleaners should be exempt from a ban on overtime were rejected at mass meetings of day and nightshift workers. The decisions led to Austin Rover also laying off 350 workers from its engine building plant at Longbridge.
The Cowley controversy has kept Montego and Maestro production at the assembly plant at a standstill for a week, causing the company to lose 5,000 cars this week. In the showrooms they would be worth Â£27m. Mr Ivor Braggins, senior shop steward for the Transport and General Workers Union, said the workers vote “showed there is a tide of anti-management feeling sweeping through the factory”