Call for Cowley unions to end unofficial strikes
By Clifford Webb
Senior officials from the two biggest unions have been called into Austin Rover’s car plant at Cowley, near Oxford, to try to put an end to the outbreak of unofficial strikes there. There are fears that they are being co-ordinated by militant shop stewards and could explode into another confrontation like last year’s month long “tea-break” strike which cost £120m worth of cars, mainly new Maestros.
A long-running strike now would be even more damaging because Maestro has been joined at Cowley by Montego, Austin Rover’s contender in the key medium-saloon sector. Since Cowley re-opened two weeks ago after summer holidays it has been bedevilled by walkouts, causing lost production of 2,000 cars.