By Alan Law
Productivity Minister Barbara Castle last night ordered a court of inquiry into the ten-week-old Standard Triumph strike which has
cost £8,000,000 in lost production.
Her action followed a breakdown in talks between Department of Employment and Productivity officials, unions and the firm. Both sides in the dispute are so far apart that Ministry officials could not bring them together in the same room yesterday,
The strike by 1,150 workers at the firm’s car body plant in Liverpool is over a demand for increased bonuses—equal to rises of £4 10s, a week — and lay-off pay.
Three thousand workers have been laid off at the firm’s plants in Coventry, Birmingham and Liverpool. Another 6,500 men are on short-time.
After yesterday’s talks broke down Mr Arthur Hearsey, the leading negotiator for the Engineering union, said: “In view of the employer’s attitude there is no point in further discussions,”
Mr Moss Evans, for the Transport workers, said: “The employers are unwilling to indicate, even on a conservative basis , how much increase they have in mind and what it would be likely to yield if the workers accepted their formula.”