Archive : Car strikes lay-offs


Three assembly lines were stopped at the Austin-Morris factory at Longbridge, Birmingham, yesterday and 3,200 workers were laid off because of the strike by 130 women sewing machine operators. The women, who sew upholstery and interior trim for most of the cars, want a 15 per cent increase in piece work rates and have rejected a management offer of £7 to £8 a week extra if they switch to day rate.

Their union , the National Union of Vehicle Builders , says that acceptance of a new pay system is a matter for all unions in the factory and cannot be dealt with in isolation. The strikers , who stopped work last Thursday , are not due to meet again until Thursday. Meanwhile British Leyland is losing 850 cars a day, worth £750.000. The strike also affected British Leyland’ s car body plant at Castle Bromwich where 195 workers were laid off.

Three hundred night shift workers at five Rover factories in Birmingham went on strike last night over a pay claim. The stoppage is part of a one-day strike this week. The day shift is due to strike on Friday. The main car assembly plant at Solihull is not affected.

Three thousand Triumph workers at two plants in Liverpool went back yesterday after the management reinstated two dismissed workers. The strike , involving 650 car body men, began on January 6 and has cost the company £2,500,000 inlost production . Three thousand workers at Coventry were laid off yesterday because of the shortage of car bodies from Liverpool. A phased return will begin at Coventry today and everything should return to normal by tomorrow a company spokesman said. The two men were dismissed for refusing to take alternative work under a labour mobility agreement.

Keith Adams

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