FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
COVENTRY, Nov. 2
Car production was halted at midday today at the Coventry factory of Jaguar Cars, Ltd.
One thousand assembly workers were sent home for an indefinite period by the management after 13 employees had downed tools in the plating shop. A management spokesman said production could not continue because of a shortage of chromium components.
The strike is over the introduction of time study in the plating shop.
Time study has been used since the firm’s inception, and is the general practice in other departments. The objection now appears to be that the firm are introducing a change of practice in working conditions. Throughout the present trouble in the industry Jaguars have remained on full time, and in a statement issued just before the assembly men were sent home, the firm said that in no circumstances would they yield the right to operate time study in accordance with industrial practice.
The statement went on:
“The company is at a loss to understand the reasons for the refusal of a small body of operatives in the plating shop to accept these methods. During the past three weeks the company has on a number of occasions postponed the application of agreed methods of time study to the plating shop in order to allow meetings to be held in an atmosphere of free discussion, with the object of discovering if any special circumstances existed which might have afforded grounds for the objections raised by this particular department to the use of time study.
The company also wished to explain fully the necessity for time study to remove any possible misconceptions. No special circumstances were put forward, and instead there was a direct refusal to accept time study, followed by a stoppage when the company took steps to operate it. This cessation has not arisen from objections to any results derived from the operation of the system but from a flat refusal to permit the use of the system itself as an accepted means of obtaining efficiency.”
Jaguar car chief Sir William Lyons was accused yesterday of using “wildcat methods” in trying to impose his will on organised – labour. The accusations were made by the A.E.U. Coventry district organiser after Sir William had sent 1,000 workers home because of a strike of 13 men over the introduction of time study in the plating shop.