Archive : BL foreman ‘allowed men on night shift to sleep’

From Our Correspondent Birmingham

Mr Robert Yates, British Leyland foreman, was dismissed for allowing men to sleep on the night shift at the Rover works in Solihull, West Midlands, an industrial tribunal was told yesterday. He was in charge of 32 men on the night shift who were dismissed, disciplined, or ‘who resigned rather than be dismissed. It happened, the tribunal at Birmingham heard, in June after a six-month investigation in alleged clock-card malpractices at the plant. Security officers kept watch from behind an extractor fan in a paint shop from where they could see a clocking point.

Mr John Shayler, plant protection manager, said that at dawn on, June 14 he had seen a day-shift worker come in to their factory and knock on the door of the foremen’s office. A little later, through a window, he saw two men, naked from the waist up. Five minutes afterwards Mr Yates came out. He was dressed. Mr Alan Walters, a supervisor, said he had seen another man come from the office carrying a Land-Rover seat capable of being used as a bed. Only three men, none of them Mr Yates, had gone to the clocking point before 6.45 am, the end of the shift. Two of them had clocked 24 or 25 cards. Mr John Share, personnel manager, said the company was satisfied that Mr Yates had allowed men to sleep on a night shift and had allowed clocking offences in which he had taken part.

Mr Yates, of Coplow Close, Balsall Common, Warwickshire, claims that he was unfairly dismissed. He will give evidence today.

Keith Adams

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