By David Felton
Four white collar unions have instructed their 22,500 members at British Leyland to start an immediate overtime ban in protest at the company’s plans to make 3,300 employees compulsorily redundant. Union leaders in talks with senior management last night gave a warning that they would also instruct their members to refuse to cover any vacant posts in the company. BL replied by saying bluntly that their action could “put thousands of jobs in jeopardy”.
The redundancies were called for under the recovery plan of Sir Michael Edwardes BL chairman for the state owned enterprise. So far about 1,100 workers have volunteered for redundancy. BL has accepted 900 of the volunteers, rejecting the remainder because they are skilled workers whom the company needs.
The company also warned the unions last night that industrial action would jeopardize redundancy payments to the 3,300 whose jobs will start to disappear from November 21 and also the 900 volunteers who have already been accepted. Union officials predicted that the overtime ban would affect BL’s plans to build up production of the Mini Metro from the 2,100 cars a week at present to 3,500 by Christmas.