A dispute at Jaguar Cars, Coventry, the fifth in the motor industry in Coventry within a week, caused the firm to lay off 790 men today. The whole output of the factory and the jobs of all its 4,000 employees are threatened, as the strikers are key men. An official of the firm said that after a dispute concerning wage rates for stand-in workers in the body shop 145 men walked out and as a result some production tracks had to cease work.
3,000 In Unofficial Strike
An unofficial strike-which, the management said, involved 3,000 workers-over a gardener, two lavatory attendants, a road sweeper, and a labourer dislocated production today at the Washwood Heath factory of Nuffield Metal Products Ltd. It threatens thousands of other employees of the British Motor Corporation at Birmingham and Oxford.
The stoppage was called by shop stewards in protest against the refusal of the five men to join the Transport and General Workers’ Union. The stewards presented an ultimatum to the management that a strike would be called if the non-union men were not dismissed. The management rejected the demand. About 2,000 day shift and 1,000 night workers are involved. Unless the strike is quickly settled, a B.M.C. official said tonight, about 2,000 workers at the Cowley works of Morris Motors will be made idle by a hold-up in supplies of car body components.
An official statement by the corporation said: “The management are disgusted by the unconstitutional attitude of the shop stewards. Serious consideration will have to be given to the attitude the management will take in future dealings with such disputes.”
Some trade union leaders in the Midlands are known to be disturbed about the series of unofficial strikes at B.M.C. factories in recent months and their effect on the earnings of workers not actively concerned in the disputes.