From Our Own Correspondent
BIRMINGHAM, MARCH 18
An unofficial strike of 51 internal transport workers at a branch factory has frustrated the British Motor Corporation’s hopes of achieving a record output of 16,000 vehicles this week.
Six thousand workers have been laid off in Birmingham and at Cowley and Abingdon, and a management official said to-day that a complete stoppage of production was threatened. The dispute is over a pay claim by loaders and drivers of trucks at the Morris Motors tractor and transmission branch, Washwood Heath, which produces all the axles used in B.M.C. cars and light commercial vehicles.
“This strike is unofficial, and completely unconstitutional, since the matter has not gone beyond the stage of domestic discussions, the first stage of the national agreed procedure for avoiding disputes,” said the B.M.C. official.
The strikers, who belong to the Transport and General Workers’ Union, claim that they have not had a pay increase since 1958 and that their earnings are substantially below those of men doing similar work in other B.M.C. factories in the area. The management say that a bonus scheme introduced last August gave fork lift truck drivers an increase of £11s. 3d. a week, platform truck drivers 18s., and loaders 10s.