B.M.C. Strike Ends: Offer Accepted
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, MAY 29
The British Motor Corporation strike ended today when 55 electricians who stopped work a fortnight ago at the group’s tractor and transmissions factory in Birmingham agreed to resume work on the night shift. The strike made 21,000 men idle in Birmingham, Coventry, and Oxford, and production losses totalled between 30,000 and 32,000 vehicles, of which half were for export. Production losses in terms of cash were estimated at more than £15m.
B.M.C. car production will be resumed tomorrow with the return to work of more than 12,000 men made idle at the Austin and Morris assembly plants at Longbridge and Cowley. Other factories where workers have been laid off are also expected to be working normally by tomorrow.
Today the 55 electricians decided to accept an offer which is regarded as basically the same as that made by the management two weeks ago. It provides for an extra 12s. 2d. for skilled electricians and 6s. 1d. for mates, with upgrading of seven mates. The decision was made at a three- hour meeting between the electricians and Mr. J. Bolas, an E.T.U. official; and 265 engineers who had walked out soon after the electricians, claiming that some machines were “black “, also ended their strike.
Earlier some 2,600 men-more than two-thirds of the total labour force- reported for work at the tractor and transmissions factory after a mass meeting at which shop stewards recommended the men to return to work pending the electricians’ meeting.