British Leyland last night faced its biggest production shutdown for over a year as the effects of a British Road Services drivers’ dispute spread. Production of Austin Morris Minis, 1100/1300s and 1800/2200 models are at a standstill at Longbridge. Jaguar XJ6 and XJ12 production has stopped at Coventry, and MG Abingdon is closed. Because of new agreements calling for 80 per cent lay-off payments, alternative work is being found wherever possible.
Even so, some 11,000 to 12,000 men employed on assembly lines and at body plants have been told not to report for work The withdrawal of BRS lorries has stopped the daily convoys which normally deliver thousands of car bodies from Castle Bromwich and Swindon. Attempts were being made yesterday to call a meeting of the national joint negotiating committee for next Wednesday to consider the 1,300 drivers’ claim for an extra £2.50 a week.