Picket lines were abandoned at five factories yesterday – when 8,500 car workers gave an unofficial strike full support. Two hundred pickets were on the gates when the first major strike in 40 years began at Leyland Motors five plants at Leyland, Lancashire. But at lunchtime, after no one had tried to break the lines, Mr Len Brindle, aged 33, an AEF shop steward and chairman of the joint works committee, sent them home.
The strike, which will cost Â£2O0,000 a day in lost bus and truck orders, has brought work to a standstill. The only people at work yesterday were members of the administrative staff. The strikers â€” hourly paid workers in 10 unions, but mainly the A.E.F. â€” want a new pay deal which ends piece work anomalies and gives Â£23 to Â£24 a week to skilled workers, Â£ 18 a week to recruits, and equal bonuses for women. The management said last night work must be resumed before talks could begin.
At Morris Motors, Cowley, near Oxford, hundreds of assembly line workers began a go-slow which will cost 200 cars a dayâ€”over piecework rates.