Archive : Annual Meeting As Car Men Strike


As directors made their way to the annual meeting of Jaguar Cars, Ltd.. Coventry, today 120 workers were walking out.

The men, employed in the body section, left the factory after a dispute over guaranteed payments. As a result a further 600 men had to be sent home and production stopped. A union official said that the 120 men. members of the National Union of Vehicle Builders and the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, were expected to return to work tomorrow morning.

A spokesman for the management commented:  “This is an unofficial stoppage. Negotiations cannot begin until the men come back to work.”

Sir William Lyons, chairman and managing director of the company, had some strong words to say about trade unions and disputes in his annual statement to shareholders at the meeting, which came less than two hours after the walk-out.

“The increasing demand for our cars throughout the world justifies continued optimism.” he stated.  “but I cannot help but feel that the failure of trade unions-with whom we have every desire to cooperate- to discipline their members in the observaance of national agreements is a most serious threat to future prosperity.”

Sir William Lyons declared:  “If our competitive ability in the world’s markets is lost I believe this will be the reason for it. It has been said that management is at fault in their labour relations. Whoever is at fault differences should be resolved through the procedure of honest negotiations with good will on both sides. I do not question the right of workers to withdraw their labour after proper negotiations through the agreed channels have failed to resolve differences.”

Car production came to a halt and 1,200 workers were sent home yesterday from the Rover Company’s factory at Solihull, near Birmingham, as the result of an unofficial strike by 54 paint-shop workers over a pay claim.

Car Era Starts On Merseyside

The first tangible sign of the redirection of Midlands prosperity to less fortunate areas was seen here today when the Standard-Triumph group’s scheme for an £11m. motor car plant at Speke, which will provide about 4,000 new jobs for Merseyside where there are 25,000 unemployed, was inaugurated.

Having acquired control of an existing engineering plant here-Hall Engineering ,where body parts for the Triumph Herald are being made, the group has one foot in the door and has thus been able to lead the promised influx of motor car manufacturers into Merseyside.

The tradition of cutting the sod being deemed to belong to the horse age rather than the era of the internal combustion Engine, Mr Alick Dick climbed into the driving seat of a caterpillar tractor which was coupled to an earth-scraping machine. He drove the whole device round the field with considerable dexterity after a few minutes’ instruction, shifting much more earth than is usual in these formal ceremonies. With him on the machine, a slightly apprehensive passenger, was Alderman J. Braddock, leader of Liverpool Council, who regards this day as the culmination of his campaigning to attract industry to Merseyside. Alderman Braddock aptly remarked later that this was ” a day of triumph for Merseyside.

” Liverpool looked like becoming a boom town”, he said happily.

Keith Adams
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