More than 4,800 workers in car factories at Coventry, Oxford, and Abingdon, Berkshire, were sent home yesterday because of disputes.
At Coventry an inter-union dispute among 150 key workers in the paint shop of Jaguar Cars, Ltd., brought the department to a standstill and all 4,000 production workers at the firm were made idle. They will report for work this morning, not knowing whether it will be available. Most of the paint shop employees belong to the Transport and General Workers Union. The small number belonging to the National Union of Vehicle Builders were, it is understood, given until yesterday morning by the T. and G.W.U. members to join their union and were told that otherwise the T. and G.W.U. members would not work with them. The ultimatum was carried out.
A company spokesman said last night that the firm hoped that the two unions would settle the matter quickly because the company were at the peak of their delivery season.
At Oxford 700 piece workers at Morris Motors car factory were sent home through a dispute which also resulted in 150 men being put out of work at the M.G. and Riley factory at Abingdon, Berks. The dispute arose when the management decided to put two extra men into each of the gangs employed in the paint shop. The men declare that this would lower their earnings and that they can maintain the production flow without more men being employed. They have been asked to report for work to-day to allow negotiations to continue. The Abingdon workers have been told to report again tomorrow.