By Clifford Webb
Jaguar car production is threatened by another pay dispute less than a month after the most damaging strike in its history. Peace talks between management and national union officials broke down at Coventry yesterday. Some 260 men employed in the trim shop have refused to accept the terms on which the 10-week strike was settled. They are insisting that the £44 a week interim payment is less than they were earning before the strike.
They have cut their output by 15 per cent because ” this is what we are being paid for “. All attempts by union officials to persuade them to honour the settlement terms while talks take place on a new system to replace piecework have been rejected. A Jaguar spokesman said last night: “The reduced output by trim shop workers has already cut final assembly. It could not have happened at a worse time. We are only just getting back to normal levels of production after the last strike.”
Many Jaguar dealers are only now receiving their first XJ12, the company’s newest saloon, which was launched shortly before the strike began. Workers earning more than £44 a week before the strike received a lump sum payment of £105 to compensate them for any losses suffered through subsequent delay in reaching agreement on a permanent system of payment. A condition of the offer was that they should maintain existing levels of output during the talks.