By R. W. Shakespeare
British Leyland had to lay off nearly 500 workers at its Land-Rover assemby plant at Solihull, in the Midlands, yesterday. Last night the company said that unless a labour dispute at a Birmingham components plant was settled today the number of lay-offs would rise sharply and Land-Rover production would be brought to a halt. The trouble stems from a strike by 250 welders at a Birmiingham factory owned by British Leyland which makes the chassis units for the Land Rover assembly line.
They are in dispute with the management over manning arrangements. At the Land-Rover assembly plant yesterday work was continueing only on partly completed vehicles, and stocks of chassis units for new vehicles starting their journey through the assembly line have now been exhausted. The workers sent home yesterday were told not to report for work today.