FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
COVENTRY, SEPT. 5
Half the Midlands car industry is threatened by the four-day-old strike of 450 Coventry car delivery drivers. Jaguars announced tonight there would be no work for 2,350 employees tomorrow and on Monday, and Standard-Triumph expect to start to lay off men tomorrow. Rootes executives were in almost continuous sessions throughout the day reviewing their problems.
The dispute concerns the increased employment of part-time delivery drivers and particularly drivers employed by a new firm which is outside the car delivery employers’ association. The strikers claim that full-time car delivery men have been made redundant because of the employment of part-timers.
They want the car assemblers- Standard-Triumph, Jaguars and Rootes -to refuse to allow new cars to be collected by part-timers. Jaguars and Rootes have appeared willing to fall in with the requests made on the men’s behalf by the Transport And General Workers’ Union, but until late tonight Standards had refused to become directly involved. With the threat to car production becoming graver every hour there were indications tonight that a face-saving solution was being sought.
The strikers are due to meet tomorrow morning and the hope was expressed that by then Standards and the delivery agents’ association will have been able to find a formula which would give the men some satisfaction. To achieve success in this direction the established delivery agents may be obliged to take their new competitor into their ranks so that the same conditions and agreements with the men’s union can be applied to all drivers.