Up to 400 British Leyland men have been working through their two weeks holiday to help clear large factory stocks of incomplete cars. The cars were unfinished because of strikes at component suppliers’ factories, mainly Pilkingtons, Lucas and Dunlop, over the last three months. More than 16000 incomplete vehicles have mounted up at the Austin-Morris division’s plants at Longbridge, Cowley, and Abingdon and the light commecial vehicle plant at Birmingham.
A British Leyland spokesman said yesterday that the men were being paid overtime rates and it was anticipated that 10,000 vehicles would be cleared by the weekend. The four plants labour force of about 22,000 is due to resume work on Monday. George Turnbull, the Austin-Morris managing director, said of the volunteers: “I am particularly grateful to them as well as our employees who have worked hard throughout this period of disruption in the most difficult conditions.”
Since the end of April, he continued. the supply of new models to British Leyland’s 4000 United Kingdom dealers and distributors had been most erratic. The disputes at component supplier’s plants had led to “extremely embarrassing” supply problems both at home and Overseas.