FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
COVENTRY, Nov. 2
Thirteen days after landing a dollar- earning order worth £22,500,000 Jaguar Cars at Coventry were affected by a lightning strike today.
About 150 men walked out in a dispute involving the company’s new Mark 10 car, and as a result 500 other workers had to be sent home. The strikers, all employed in the trim shop, complained of excessive waiting time -the lapse between jobs, when the men get a lower rate of pay. A company spokesman said tonight: “This is a wildcat action. a complete breach of contract. There is a shortage of work in the section caused by the changeover in production from Mark 2 to Mark 10. There can be no negotiations until the men return.”
The stoppage halted Mark 2 production. The 500 workers who had to be laid off will return to work tomorrow, when the situation will be reassessed.
The strikers are members of the National Union of Vehicle Builders, whose district organizer, Mr Charles Gallagher, said tonight: “This is more than a slightly wildcat action. Even when the men go back there will be no negotiations because there is simply nothing to negotiate.”
The strike is the first at Jaguars since the firm landed its order for 10,000 cars from North America at the Earls Court Motor Show. The contract is conditional upon satisfactory delivery and the factory has been stepped up to full pressure to meet a heavy production schedule. The Jaguar managing director, Sir William Lyons, said:
“The dates specified by the distributors for delivery leave no margins for delays of any kind.”
Union chiefs pledged when the order was placed that they would give their support in ensuring it was met without any setbacks.