Archive : Cowley plan to end piecework suffers setback

By R. W. Shakespeare

A decision by shop stewards at the Austin/Morris car body plant at Cowley, Oxford, yesterday makes it clear that British Leyland is still going to have a major battle on its hands in getting its new £1 an hour pay structure accepted there. The stewards, who want to retain the traditional piecework system, reaffirmed their opposition to any form of measured day work.

The new pay proposals will now go to a full meeting of the Cowley branch of the Transport and General Workers Union on Sunday, and on Monday the company will resume its negotiations with local union officials. British Leyland is insisting that its new six-grade pay structure, with a top grade of £40 for a 40 hour week, is accepted in both the car assembly and car body plants at Cowley before a new medium range car goes into production.

Some workers in the car assembly plant have provisionally accepted the elimination of piece- work in return for a new rate of 18s. 6d. an hour for work on the new model.

Keith Adams
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