By CLIFFORD WEBB.
Midland Industrial Correspondent
There were hopes last night that strike meetings taking place in Liverpool and Birmingham today will result in a return to work in two unofficial disputes which for the past week have seriously reduced production at British Leyland plants. With the possibility of an early return in mind.
Standard-Triumph, the worst affected with nearly 5,000 men idle, avoided additional layoffs yesterday for the first time for more than a week. But the company repeated its warning that if today’s meeting fails to produce a return by the 1150 men on strike at its bodymaking subsidiarv at Wood End. Liverpool, the whole of the 9.000 work force at the main assembly plant at Coventry will have to be laid off early next week.
The second British Leyland dispute involves 130 storemen on unofficial strike at Pressed Steel Fisher, Common Lane, Birmingham. George Wright, district official of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, said yesterday: “We are making further moves to get a return to work before Friday.”
Telegrams have been sent calling the storemen to a meeting this morning. Although there was no official comment from the company last night, it is believed that if the strikers refuse to return the T.U.C. will be asked to intervene. Pressed Steel Fisher has offered an immediate works conference to consider the storemen’s complaints if they will resume work. Urgent steps were being taken last night to get messages to the 2,500 men laid off by the strike, recalling them in the hope of a resumption today.
Meanwhile, the effects of the stoppage are begining to snowball. Yesterday 120 assembly workers were laid off at Austin Morris, Cowley, and production of the Morris Minor 1000 brought to a standstill. A total of 110 men employed on Morris Minor Traveller bodies was laid off at Pressed Steel Fisher, Coventry. Nearly 250 men have already been laid off for two days at Adderley Park. Birmingham, a light commercial vehicle unit.