FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, JULY 25
About 2,500 workers at the British Motor Corporation’s key supply tractor and transmissions branch, Birmingham, were on strike here tonight in protest at the dismissal of a shop steward who broke factory regulations by “clocking in ” another worker.
The first effects were quickly felt at the Austin works on the other side of the city, where production of the A55 Cambridge had “slowed down “. By tomorrow a similar effect will be felt at the corporation’s Cowley factory on the 1-5 litre range of cars.
The tractor and transmissions factory, which employs a total of 3,100 workers, produces front suspensions and rear axle units for all B.M.C cars and light commercial vehicles. A prolonged stoppage would affect production throughout the corporation. The man who was ” clocked in ” is 67, and a union spokesman said the shop steward was merely doing a favour for an elderly man to save him walking to the clock.
“We know that rules are made to be obeyed, but there are sometimes circumstances which have to be taken into consideration “,
said the official.
The B.M.C. said that the shop stewards at the factory have been told they could have talks on the dispute as soon as the workers resume normal working.
“Industry generally takes a strict view of clocking in and insists that one man shall not clock in for another “, he said.