Archive : Grim Threat For Car Men

By Alan Law

A tough warning was being sent to 16,000 car workers by British Leyland last night. Letters will tell them bluntly that the strike by 250 engine tuners is preventing their plant at Cowley, Oxford, reaching its survival budget.

Further losses caused by the strike—which has cut production by a fifth — would be “calamitous.”

And it adds: “There would be the strongest likelihood of—at best—a major reduction of manufacturing and employment.” As the letters were going out the company’s top executives travelled to the Government’s new Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration service in London.

They explained in detail why they are opposing the engine-tuners demand for upgrading. Today, Engineering Union leaders, who represent the strikers, will put their case.

The letter was sent by plant director John Symonds. It said: “The Government has guaranteed additional overdraft facilities for only six months. This means that we in British Leyland have been given six months to prove ourselves.”

Registrations of new cars and vans in Britain dropped by a quarter last year — from 1,688,322 to 1,273,814.

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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