Archive : Cowley peace formula may avert full strike

By R. W. Shakespeare Northern Industrial Correspondent

Labour troubles continued to plague the motor industry yesterday, where some 16,000 workers were idle and assembly lines halted in several maior centres. But there were rising hopes that some problems would soon be sorted out. All of British Leyland’s Marina and Maxi car assembly lines were halted for the twelfth day because of a dispute over a new pay deal for 2,300 workers in the bodv plant at Cowley. Oxford.

A further 4500 assembly men are laid off. Management union talks, which ended in the early hours of yesterday. resuited in a new offer to be put to a mass meeting of the body plant workers on Monday morning. On that day they have threatened to intensify their work-to-rule into an all-out strike.

British Leyland has refused to improve its cash offer of another £2.20 a week, bringing the weekly rate to £44.20 for day shift workers and £52.17 for those on the night shift. But the company has agreed to improve its guarantees on lay- off pay In its original offer, which also covered improved pay and holidays, the management guaranteed 14 days’ pay at 80 per cent of average earnings during lay-offs. BLMC is now ready to discuss improving this, provided there is a return to normal working.

British Leyland’s other big production problems in the Triumph car plants at Coventry and LiverPool–are no nearer solution. Yesterday the 80 men on strike from the Radford, Warwickshire com-onent plant voted to continue their stoppage in pursuit of a new £2.50 a week bonus.

Keith Adams
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