By Clifford Webb
Birmingham – Mr Jack Adams, aged 45, a skilled upholsterer at BL’s Longbridge car factory, was chosen last night to succeed Mr Derek Robinson as convenor of shop stewards there. Like Mr Robinson, he was disciplined by the company for leading a campaign of disruption against Sir Michael Edwardes’ recovery plan.
While Mr Robinson was dismissed, however, Mr Adams was only given a warning that a repetition could lead to dismissal. Both men are prominent members of the Communist Party. Mr Adams’s election by the seven man works committee is regarded as a significant victory for the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
The convenor’s post at Longbridge traditionally has been held by the rival Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. After his election Mr Adams, who is married with three children and lives at Kidderminster, said he did not feel inhibited by the management’s warning. Although Mr Robinson was an engineering shop steward, his power base in recent years had come largely from the backing of the more militant TGWU stewards at Longbridge. They will transfer their loyalty to Mr Adams. It is by no means certain, however, that the engineering union will give him the same support that it gave to Mr Robinson.
It is bitterly disappointed that its own nominee, Mr Brian Chambers did not get the senior conveners job; he was elected as AUEW convener in place of Mr Robinson.