Improved offer ends strike at Jaguar
By Clifford Webb
The eight-day strike at Jaguar, Coventry, which has cost the newly privatized company 800 cars worth more than £15m, is over. Mass meeting of the 7,000 employees voted overwhelmingly yesterday to accept an improved offer. Jaguar has brought forward £120 of the pay rise due next November, and given other concessions, including cash for shares due to employees.
Meanwhile, Austin Rover claimed a steady drift back during the day had increased numbers at work to 6,000 of its 28,000 manual employees. A mass meeting of 2,700 workers at the Swindon body pressing plant, the third biggest after Longbridge and Cowley voted to return to work on Monday.
Austin Rover has no intention of soft pedalling its legal battle with the unions despite losing the first round to the engineering union. It will return to the High Court next week to seek contempt proceedings against the six unions which have defied the court’s order to call off the strike until a secret ballot has been held.
Jubilant strike leaders claimed yesterday that Mr Justice Stuart-Smith’s refusal to grant an injunction against the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, because it had publicly disowned the strike, had “‘driven a coach and horses” through the Trade Union Act 1984.