Strikers at the British Motor Corporation’s car body factory of Fisher and Ludlow Ltd., Birmingham, decided at a meeting this afternoon to continue the unofficial stoppage which has already made more than 7,000 workers idle and may lead to the laying-off of 8,000 workers at two other factories by Thursday.
So far the dispute has been discussed at works level and between local representatives of the union and employers’ organizations. The strikers have decided not to wait for the next stage at which the question should be referred to the industry’s central conference at York. A spokesman of the Transport and General Workers’ Union said after to-day’s meeting that the men felt that negotiations by procedure had been disappointing, and the management showed no spirit of compromise. It would not be worth while to submit the dispute to the central conference in the opinion of the strikers. The strike began on Friday when a claim for an accident-free bonus by a number of crane drivers and slingers at the factory had been rejected, after passing through two stages of normal negotiating machinery.
The Transport and General Workers’ Union say that the strikers total 160, but the management say that 98 men have unofficially stopped work. This morning 6,000 workers at the Fisher and Ludlow factory were sent home after 1,200 men on the night shift had been laid off. This seriously interrupted the flow of car bodies to other factories within the B.M.C. group. An official of the Austin Motor Company said that they would start sending workers home tomorrow and by Thursday night up to 5,000 workers would have been sent home.
Production of the A35, A40. Nash Metropolitan, Riley 1.5, and Wolseley 1500 would be affected.
At the Coventry factory of the Standard Motor Company, where Fisher and Ludlow bodies are used for the eight and 10 horse power cars, an official said that up to 3,000 workers would be sent home by Thursday night if the strike were not settled.