Three thousand car workers were laid off yesterday because of an unofficial strike at the British Motor Corporation’s body-building factory of Fisher and Ludlow Ltd., Erdington, and car production at B.M.C.’s Oxford and Longbridge factories is threatened.
The dispute is an unofficial strike by 800 members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, the Transport and General Workers, Union and the National Society of Metal Mechanics. They claim their members should do work until now done by members of the National Union of Vehicle Builders. Production of B.M.C. cars is also threatened by a strike of piece workers at Morris Motors radiators branch at Oxford, where 90 per cent of the piece workers at the factory joined the strike by about 100 polishers who walked out earlier this week. They object to the introduction of an extra man into their department. The management says he was put in with the agreement of the senior shop steward, but union officials deny this.
A B M C spokesman said last night: “It is particularly tragic that when the car trade shop window is about to open we should be faced with this grave crisis, if the strike continues even for a short time the situation could be extremely grave. As it is, lay-offs may well have to be made at Longbridge (Birmingham) and Oxford tomorrow.”