FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, AUG. 28
The men involved in the unofficial strike of machinists engaged on work for the new small Austin and Morris cars at the British Motor Corporation’s tractor and transmission branch, Ward End, voted at a mass meeting today to continue the stoppage.
The number of men in the dispute has now been resolved at 102 after conflicting statements by the management and shop stewards. The strikers claim that trial rates for work on the new models are 2s. an hour below the average piecework earnings in the factory. They want the management to raise them by 6d. an hour for a period, of one month, and by another 6d. for a second month if a final decision on rates is not reached in that time. Mr L. Kingscott, shop stewards’ convener, said today:
“The men do not expect to earn the factory’s average wage at the start of a new job, but they will not go back until the management make a specific offer.”
To this a management official replied that no negotiations could be started until work was resumed.
Production of the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor models at Longbridge and Cowley could continue until early next week, but the position would have to be reviewed then if the dispute was still unsettled. Shop stewards have declared “black” all work for the two cars at the Ward End works.
Our Labour Correspondent writes: – The engineering employers’ national federation have appealed to the Amalgamated Engineering Union to get the men back to work so that the constitutional procedure could operate. Mr C. Hallett, general secretary of the union, said last night that they had instructed their members to resume work.
Standard Tractor Deal Approved
An extraordinary general meeting of Standard Motors has now approved the sale of the company’s tractor plant to Massey- Ferguson for £14,900,000, plus about £2,750,000 for stock, work in progress, and spare parts.
A resolution authorizing the change in the company’s name to Standard- Triumph International Lmited was also approved.
Lord Tedder, the chairman of the company, said it was felt that the sale was both rational and equitable to everyone concerned. He added that during the past 50 years the meaning of the word Standard had changed until, in America today, it just meant ” ordinary.
“People there asked where was the de luxe. ”
We are up against the problem of international publicity whereby we are having to use the name Standard in Britain and Standard-Triumph in other parts of the world.”