By R. W. Shakespeare
The British Leyland management offered discussions yesterday to end the dispute which has halted production at the Austin-Morris plant at Cowley. The management said it would discuss the claims of men in the car body works provided that normal working was resumed and existing agreements honoured while this was done. The management proposal will be considered at a branch meeting of the Transport and General Workers’ Union tomorrow and its recommendations will go to a meeting of the workers on Monday.
Yesterday Mr David Buckle, district secretary of the union, said: “There is a glimmer of hope but no more than that.”
The dispute, which has so far cost £5m in lost production of Marina and Maxi cars and put 7,000 workers out of work, results from the rejection by 2,250 body plant men of new company pay proposals. Largely, the workers say the proposals do not contain good enough guarantees about pay when laid off. At another British Leyland car plant, Triumph in Coventry, production is also at a standstill with some 4,500 workers laid off be- cause of a strike by 70 men in one of the company’s component factories at Radford. which makes axle units.