By Clifford Webb
Output at Leyland Cars is being hit by a wave of industrial disputes at a time when the company urgently needs full production to replenish stocks depleted by its successful “Superdeal” sales campaign. The most serious dispute has halted production of Triumph Dolomite, 1500 and Toledo models for the past two days.
About 1,000 staff are striking in protest at management plans to change grading structures which they claim will involve wage cuts. A further 3,000 production workers have been sent home, and union-management discussions were taking place yesterday.
At Leyland’s light van factory in Common, Lane, Birmingham, 600 assembly workers blockaded the gates and road junctions in- side the factory. They were sent home on Monday for persistently failing to meet production targets, and told to stay away for a week. The men blame shortages of components and assembly line breakdowns for the drop in production. At Rover Solihull, 800 members of Apex, the white-collar union, are imposing sanctions and refusing to co-operate in protest at the exclusion of Rover executives from senior posts in the new Leyland Cars Company.
All senior positions have been filled by executives from the former Austin Morris side, which the Rover men insist has a record which does not bear comparison with their own profitable company. There was better news last night of a fourth strike when security officers at Rover Cardiff decided to return to work today to allow talks, to begin ons manning levels. They had stopped production of gear boxes, axles and suspension units by locking out 900 workers.