CAR GIANT IS FACING TOTAL SHUTDOWN
By PAUL WILENIUS Industrial Reporter
INDUSTRIAL action over pay at Lucas Electrical factories in the Midlands is threatening a complete shutdown of Austin Rover car production. Major plants in the State-owned car firm have already been starved of vital components and more than 2,000 workers at Austin Rover’s Longbridge factory in Birmingham were laid off last night because of a shortage of parts.
There was no production of the Mini, Metro, and Rover 200 at the plant, due to the shortage of lights. Although one-fifth of the staff at Longbridge were laid off, production of the prestige Rover 800 began at Cowley, Oxford, yesterday as a delivery of parts from Lucas got through.
But the company said last night that it is “living from day to day,” The 11,000 workers at Lucas Electrical have thrown out a five per cent pay offer, and have imposed a work-to-rule
Meanwhile, pay talks between management and union officials at Austin Rover were adjourned yesterday. New car sales figures for the first nine months of the year show Ford well ahead of main rivals Austin Rover and Vauxhall.
While Ford increased its share of the home market by 9.2 per cent to 21 per cent Austin Rover’s fell by 2.01 per cent to 16 per cent and Vauxhall by 1.5 per cent to 15 percent.