By R. W. Shakesneare
British Leyland’s labour troubles, that have now made more than 12,000 workers idle, deepened yesterday when more car production was brought to a standstill by a strike by 600 key toolroom workers. All output of Mini cars stopped at Longbridge, Birmingham, and 2,000 production workers were laid off indefinitely. The trouble stems from a two weeks old strike by toolroom workers at the body plant at Castle Bromwich which has now caused the layoff of 3,500 workers there. The dispute has also halted all output of Jaguar cars for the past week and more than 6,000 workers are laid off from the assembly plant in Coventry.
At a meeting on Thursday the toolroom workers voted to continue their strike, rejecting the advice of some union officials that they should return and allow their pay grievance to be taken through British Leyland’s disputes procedure. The toolroom men have turned down a company offer that would add £5.25 to their present basic weekly pay of £54.05 and they are understood to be demanding £12.70 a week. They claim that this amount is necessary to restore their wage differential with production workers.