By Clifford Webb Midlands Industrial Correspondent
Trade unions representing 73,000 BL car workers yesterday rejected a final offer of 6.8 per cent by the company and called for shop-floor action to force the management to make a more “realistic” offer. Mr Grenville Hawley, chairman of the union side on BL Cars’ joint negotiating committee, said: “At this stage we are not calling for a strike. But we are giving a strong hint that we want action. What form it should take we shall have to find from our members when we consult them. We could be collision-bound but we shall have to wait and see.”‘
A meeting of all senior shop stewards is being called for October 27 and will probably be followed by mass meetings at the plants. Mr Geoffrey Armstrong, BL Cars’ employee relations director, said after an all-day meeting of the negotiating committee: “That is the company’s final offer, and I mean final. There is nothing more to come.”
The offer had been increased from 6.1 per cent. He believed that BL employees would be more responsible than to take strike action. They understood the company’s precarious financial positon. Details of the final offer and the company’s case will be sent to all manual workers to ensure that they have a clear idea of the management’s intention.