BY Clifford Webb
British Leyland has launched a big communications exercise to tell its 171,000 employees in Britain “the facts” about the group’s problems and its hopes. The first step yesterday was a unique all day meeting in an hotel at Solihull, Warwickshire, between Lord Stokes and the whole of his executive board on the one hand and 375 managers, staff representatives and shop stewards from all 59 United’ Kingdom factories on the other.
Lord Stokes told the gathering: “This conference is the direct result of management’s review of, firstly, what information should be available to employees in respect of the corporation’s plans and trading position-particularly at a time when our industry is facing a period of considerable uncertainty, and- secondly; how to communicate such information to employees in an organization of this size.”
The meeting was held in private but a company spokesman gave a short outline of the proceedings. He said that Mr John Barber, managing director, had briefed employees on the depressed state of the car market and outlined the range of new models in the pipeline with a special emphasis on. economy motoring. Mr Alex Park, finance director, had spelt out the implications of the group’s £16.6m loss in the first half of the present financial year.
Cowley inquiry: Mr Arthur Davies, a Coventry magistrate, is to lead the seven man inquiry into the activities of the Transport and General Workers’ Union at Cowley. The inner cabinet of the union’s midland region committee is to look into British Leyland’s reasons for refusing to recognize Mr Alan Thornett as a shop steward.