British Leyland is to pay off 600 of its 5,000 employees at the truck and tractor factory, Bathgate West Lothian. Most of those involved are in the tractor sections. Because of the lay-offs over several weeks caused by the GKN -Sankey strike, production restarted only on Tuesday.
The firm’s statement yesterday, however, blamed a lack of orders for tractors for the redundancy. It said “During May of this year consultations were held with the shop stewards and statements were made to the effect that Leyland Motors Scotland was not operating efficiently because the input of orders was insufficient to utilize to capacity the existing labour force. Since this time the situation has been reviewed weekly and short-time working. has been continued throughout All departments. Ronald Ellis, managing director of the truck and bus division, met the shop stewards when he visited the factory on August 26 and following further discussions stated that the, results of a complete market survey would be available by early September when the matter would be reviewed.”
The statement added: “The results of this review have now been analysed, and it is apparent that particularly in the field of agricultural tractors, no improvement can be expected in the foreseeable future “.
At another British Leyland factory, the sports car plant at Abingdon, Berkshire, a shortage of bodies has stopped production.
A 10-day-old strike by 24 docket clerks at Jaguar’s Radford, Coventry, components plant was yesterday made official.
Car production at the Austin Morris factory at Cowley, has been stopped by a strike of 1,200 assembly workers. Another 2,000 workers have been laid off.