By R. W. Shakepeare
British Leyland has run into more labour troubles to add to those which during the past two weeks have caused about £14.5m-worth of production losses in its car plants and made nearly 12,000 workers idle. Yesterday production was also halted at the company’s Alvis military vehicles division factory in Coventry, where about 1,200 more workers were laid off 48 hours before the start of their annual holidays.
The company blamed continuing disruption resulting from a work-to-rule which has been operated by 600 production workers for the past week. A management spokesman said the sanctions were seriously affecting output, including work on valuable export contracts. The men are demanding a “substantial” pay increase and other improvements. Present pay averages about £70 a week.
Meanwhile, problems in several Leyland car production centres continue and there seems little prospect that the 800 component workers at a BLMC-owned factory at Hemel Hempstead, whose strike is at the centre of the troubles, will call off their unofficial action when they hold a mass meeting today. In a statement last night Leyland gave a warning that a continuation of the stoppage could have far reaching consequences and put many more jobs at risk.