Archive : ‘I’ll shut car plant’, Red Derek


Sacked Communist shop steward Derek Robinson yesterday spelt out his plans to shut down British Leyland unless he is
reinstated . “Red Derek” told 1,000 cheering delegates at the students conference

“We intend Longbridge to come to a stop. Nothing will move in or out of any Leyland plant. We will seal the ports so that no Leyland product will leave the country. This will continue until the unconditional reinstatement of myself , and the unconditional withdrawal of disciplinary measures against my colleagues…

The decision to give Sir Michael Edwardes authority to sack me has come from Sir Keith Joseph . I hopes the students will give us physical assistance on the picket lines . Of course I’m going to get my job back ”

On the Edwardes plan to streamline British Leyland , he said: “It is being done in an organised manner to reach a stage where it is not economically viable to continue . Then it will become politically acceptable to shut us down .”

Mr Robinson, a 52-year old former secondary school pupil who quit the classroom at 14 , received a one-and-a half- minute standing ovation. He claimed Leyland chairman, Sir Michael Edwardes, was given the authority to sack him by Industry Secretary Sir Keith Joseph and the Tory Government. Mr Robmson is back on Leyland’s payroll pending a union inquiry into his dismissal but is not at work.

Keith Adams

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