Nearly 9,000 shop floor workers at the five British Leyland bus and truck factories in Chorley and Leyland, Lancashire, voted to strike immediately after a mass meeting at lunchtime yesterday. There is deadlock over management proposals to restructure piecework pay rates and introduce measured day working.
The vote for strike action was carried almost unanimously. British Leyland had planned to begin implementing the proposals next Wednesday when industrial engineers were scheduled to begin studies designed to institute measured day working. In exchange for acceptance of the deal the company had offered a lump sum payment of £104.
The men want a 7 per cent across the-board increase in addition to the lump sum payment and also demand the right to negotiate on the proposals embodied in the package. Mr Len Brindle, works convener, gave warning that the dispute had become as serious as the pay issue that led to a two month stoppage in 1969. The work force is not due to meet again until next Thursday.
Car workers recalled:
British Leyland was resuming car production at its Longbridge plant in Birmingham last night. It had to send 7,000 workers home and halted all car output on Wednesday because of a hold-up in components supplies from factories in the Wilmot Breeden group in Birmingham caused by a strike of 140 white collar workers. Deliveries of accessories were resumed yesterday.