By R. W. Shakespeare
After the Government’s announcement of changes in the three-day working week arrangements, British Leyland has ended troublesome and costly Saturday shift working for the 19,000 workers at its Austin-Morris car plant at Cowley, Oxford. The entire Cowley complex, including both the body pressing shops and the car assembly areas, will open this morning and work until Friday night.
A big proportion of Cowley workers this week will suffer their first serious wage cuts since the crisis began. Their normal earnings of between £45 and £50 a week will be reduced by between £15 and £20. This is because agreements which gave them up to 80 per cent of normal rates for days when they were idle have now expired.
They will be able to claim unemployment benefit for days when the plant is closed because of the power crisis.