Britain’s car makers face a brighter prospect next week. Some of the worst labour disputes that have caused production chaos over large sections of the industry were resolved yesterday. Most of the 10,000 who have been made idle will be returning to work on Monday.
The two most important settlements yesterday came in British Leyland’s Austin/Morris plants at Cowley and Longbridge, where crippling unofficial strikes by small groups have halted production of more than 10,500 medium range cars worth well over £6m. about 40 per cent of which would have gone for export. At the Cowley plant a decision to return on Monday morning by 126 electricians. who had been on unofficial strike for a fortnight, followed a visit to the plant. and a tough-talking meeting with the men, by Leslie Cannon.
president of the electricians and plumbers union. At Longbridge 200 assembly line workers. whose unofficial strike has stopped production for more than a week, will also go back on Monday. Their decision came after a meeting between the works committee and shop stewards. The men have been promised further talks with the management on their pay dispute.