Archive : 34,000 idle in car industry: output losses over £30m

Midland Industrial Correspondent

Nearly 34,000 motor workers were idle yesterday as internal strikes at several British Leyland plants added to the general disruption in the industry caused by the three week old GKN-Sankey stoppage. The industry’s production losses are now estimated at between £30m. and £35m.

A strike by 24 clerks at Jaguar caused 1700 to be laid off al the company’s Radford, Coventry works. Production of sub-assemblies and other components was halted. Car production is continuing, but a company spokesman gave warning that assembly lines would soon be affected.

At Triumph, Coventry the 7,000 workers who were laid off through shortages of Sankey pressings were joined yesterday by the remainder of the labour force who had threatened to walk out every time fellow workers were laid off without pay. Similar action came from 1000 men at Pressed Steel Fisher, Swindon. after 120 had been laid off. At Austin-Morris, Cowley production of 1100/1300 cars stopped when 76 sub-assembly workers walked out in dispute over piece work rates. Another 1,300 had to be laid off. Altogether 4455 Austin-Morris employees were either on strike or laid off at the group’s Midland plants.

The management at the Austin-Morris assembly plant at Cowley gave warning yesterday that any more “instant walk- outs” without reasonable cause could close whole sections of the factory.

Keith Adams

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