From Our Correspondent Oxford
Workers at British Leyland’s car assembly plant at Cowley, last night adjourned their meeting at Oxford town hall because nearly a thousand were unable to get in. The meeting had been called to enable members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union at the factory to vote on whether the union should become involved in an official strike over a shop steward.
The shop steward. Mr Alan Thornett, who is the union’s deputy convener and chairman of 5/55 branch, was one of those able to get in to the main assembly room of the town hall, But almost as many were unsuccessful. British Leyland has refused to recognize him as a shop steward. Another meeting has been called for today on the works sports field at Cowley.
Car production at Cowley was limited yesterday (our Northern Industrial Correspondent writes). The dispute, which began over lay-off arrangements, has prevented output of cars worth more than £20m. At British Leyland’s other big Austin/Morris plant at Longbridge, Birmingham about 3,000 workers were still laid off yesterday. Car production was curtailed because of the lingering effects of the engineers’ national overtime ban and component shortages. The management hopes to return to full working today.