Archive : Austin Plant To Stop Today

Austin Plant To Stop Today
From Our Correspondent

All car production at the British Motor Corporation’s Austin factory at Longbridge will stop tomorrow morning, and 4,600 workers will be idle, until the settlement of one of five strikes which were disrupting the corporation’s factories today.

A management spokesman said that the shutdown at Longbridge had been caused by the effects of the week-old official strike of 55 electricians at the Morris Motors tractor and transmissions branch factory here. The men are claiming a ” substantial increase” in pay, and have rejected an offer of 12s. 2d. a week for skilled electricians who, say the management, are already earning £20 14s. 1 1d. for a basic 42hr. week.

The Morris tractor and transmissions factory makes axles and front suspension units for many of the B.M.C. models, and earlier today 1,000 workers were sent home from there because of the production hold-up caused by the electricians’ strike. In addition 265 machine operators were on strike because they refused to operate machines that had been serviced by supervisory staffs during the electricians’ strike.

At the end of the day shift today, 2,600 workers engaged on car production at the Austin factory were sent home indefinitely, and although the 2,000 on the sight shift were able to work this evening they were warned that they would be idle from the end of their shift tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, over 200 workers are on strike because of two separate disputes at another of the B.M.C. factories in Birmingham, Nuffield Metal Products. which makes body pressings for car and commercial vehicles. About 200 press shop workers had stopped work over a piecework claim, while 30 stores loaders walked out in support of their demand for higher overtime rates and six internal drivers struck in sympathy with them. These strikes, in addition to that at the tractor and transmissions branch, are likely to have an early effect on the Morris motor factory at Oxford where, said the B.M.C. spokesman, the position would be reviewed tomorrow.

The B.M.C. spares and service organization was also being threatened by a go-slow of 600 workers at the organization’s headquarters at Oxford in support of their pay claim.

Jaguar Trim Shop Workers Back
The 400 trim shop workers at Jaguar Cars, Coventry, whose unofficial strike has stopped car assembly since last Thursday, resumed work today.

Talks on their pay claim, which would put them level with production employees, can now be reopened with the management. Because of the strike 850 assembly men have been laid off until Wednesday. Resumption of work by the trim shop employees will enable supplies of components to be built up, allowing the return on Wednesday of those stood off. The trim shop employees belong to the National Union of Vehicle Builders, whose area organizer, Mr Charles Gallagher, hopes now that the talks with the management on the men’s claim will be allowed to continue without further stoppages.

BMC -The first production MGB is manufactured today.

Keith Adams

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