Archive : Car output hit by rash of industrial disputes

Marina production at the Austin-Morris assembly plant at Cowley resumed last night after being brought to a standstill earlier because of a row over a hoist. About 1,700 workers were sent home but production resumed after a meeting between management and union.

The Oxford plants have been disrupted, with production losses costing more than £16m by a succession of disputes alternating between the assembly lines and the body pressing department. The new disputes on the assembly lines yesterday involved two separate groups of workers, one of which claimed layoff pay for time lost during earlier stoppages, and the other electricians protesting that maintenance work had been done in their absence. A British Leyland spokesman said the situation would be “reviewed ” this morning.

At British Leyland’s bus and truck plants in Lancashire 8,500 production workerson strike for a week voted yesterday to return. The majority did so, but 58 engine assemblers, whose stoppage led to the original dispute over layoffs, stayed out, and another 139 men in the engines workshops had to be laid off again.


Lorry drivers employed by Jaguar at Coventry yesterday called off their strike, which with other disputes, has made 2,000 assembly men idle since the middle of last week. The drivers started moving components between Jaguar plants, last night but the management could not say when those laid off can report back.

Keith Adams

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