By R. W. Shakespeare
Production of Jaguar XJ6 and Daimler Sovereign cars was halted at British Leyland’s Coventry plant yesterday and 1,000 workers laid off because of a pay dispute involving 24 docket clerks. They are members of the Clerical and Administrative Workers Union. The clerks had been on strike for a month, but other members of their union at the Pressed Steel Fisher factory in Birmingham are now supporting them ‘by “blacking” documentation.
This move has stopped deliveries of car bodies to the Coventry assembly plant. The C.A.W.U. has made the clerks’ strike official and the lay- offs at Coventry are for “an in- definite period “. The XJ6 is a top- selling model in overseas markets. The company fears many orders may be lost because of delivery hold ups resulting from production delays caused mainly by labour troubles.
Production is still paralysed at another British Leyland plant, the Austin-Morris factory at Cowley, Oxford, where output of 10,000 cars has been lost already because of a strike by 1,100 assembly line workers over pay grading. Another 2300 men are laid off. Full production was resumed yesterday at the Triumph car plant on Merseyside for the first time since the shutdown-caused by the G.K.N.-Sankey strike, which caused the lay-off of 1,500 workers. These have all been recalled.
The stoppage led to postponement of the nationwide launch, planned last month, of the Toledo.