500 Defy Pickets At B.M.C. Works
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, MAY 28
In spite of strong picket lines around the British Motor Corporation’s tractor and transmissions factory at Birmingham today about 500 workers reported for work. But the deadlock which started when 55 electricians went on strike nearly a fortnight ago is no nearer to being broken. A mass meeting this morning attended by about 3,000 workers-almost the whole of the factory’s labour force- voted to urge union officials to meet the management and reach a settlement within 24 hours. Tomorrow another mass meeting is to be held. Union officials will report what progress has been made in the past 24 hours.
An announcement by the B.M.C. management tonight referred to meetings Mr. Jack Bolas, the E.T.U. area secretary has had during the dispute with senior management officials and said that “these channels” were still open to him for attempts to reach a settlement. It was announced from London today that Mr. Frank Foulkes, president of the E.T.U., which is backing the strikers, is visiting Birmingham on Wednesday for talks with union officials. The strike, which is estimated to be costing the B.M.C. group about £1m. a day, has made more than 20,000 men idle. The 55 electricians are demanding extra pay for doing what they regard as extra work.
BMC Statement : ‘Everything is ready for a full resumption if enough men come in tomorrow . It will only be a short time before all the other men who have been laid off throughout the corporation can be recalled .”