LEYLAND UNIONS SET FOR A FIGHT
Union leaders are squaring up for a battle, to save thousands of jobs threatened by the British Leyland cutbacks. Urgent talks were being planned last night over Leyland’s proposals to close some factories and trim the workforce by 25,000. Moves are being made to set up an emergency committee representing the company’s 165,000 workers.
Mr Roy Fraser, the Cowley engineering union convenor, who has led two crippling strikes during the last three years in support of a better deal for the company’s craftsmen, described the proposals as ” a disaster.”. The first factory to go will be the bus plant at Park Royal, North London, with 650 jobs axed. Other plants closed or heavily cut are Abingdon, Speke, near Liverpool, Castle Bromwich, Tile Hill, West Yorkshire, Tipton, Dudley, Leeds, Leyland, Bathgate, and Glasgow.
The workers at the Park Royal bus plant got a harsh rebuke from Leyland’s chairman Sir Micliael Edwardes. He told millions of listeners to the Jimmy Young radio show that the men had deliberately held down production , and must now pay the price. And last night Tory MP for North West Surrey Mr Michael Grylls, vice chairman of the Conservative Industry Committee, said:
” Leyland have either got to produce their own profit or face a massive break up.”