FROM OUR LABOUR CORRESPONDENT
When the annual holidays at Morris Motors’ plant at Cowley, Oxford, end on Monday, the strike of 3,000 members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union there will be resumed and they will have increased support from other unions. Some of them believe the works will be brought to a standstill, in which case employees at other British Motor Corporation factories would soon be affected.
The position, however, is far from clear. Ten of the unions concerned met in London yesterday to consider a recommendation made at a meeting of representatives of 12 unions on July 24 that all their executives should call their members out. Mr Frank Foulkes, who presided, said afterwards that all the unions whose executives had considered the recommendation had decided to call out their members. but he declined to say which or how many unions had considered the recommendation.
Indeed, the only one he mentioned as having considered it was his own, the Electrical Trades Union. It is believed that other unions may have accepted the recommendation, but it is known that the most important union concerned, the Amalgamated Engineering Union, have not. The dispute is over the dismissal of Mr F. Horsman of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, a chief shop steward. Mr Foulkes said that since July 24 a meeting had taken place between the Morris management, a representative of the Engineering and Allied Employers National Federation and union officials, at which the union leaders had made suggestions to overcome the difficulty.
Morris Motors, he said, were adamant in their claim to the right to sack the shop steward and declared they would in no circumstances engage or re-engage him in any capacity whatsoever, either as a shop steward or ordinary workman. Yesterday’s meeting, said Mr Foulkes, endorsed the attempt to reach a settlement and deplored the adamant attitude of the Morris management. A meeting of local officials and shop stewards would be held at Transport House, Cowley, on Sunday to coordinate the strike. Mr L. Kealey, national engineering officer of the T.G.W.U., said he had known Mr Horsman for 10 years and would not accept from anybody that he was not a reasonable shop steward.
“He is a type that the B.M.C. would be glad to have in any other factory,” Mr Kealey continued, “but the management at Oxford are of a different character. I am satisfied we will never have a better case for making a stand for the re-employment of a shop steward sacked for carrying out his duties. We are exceedingly thankful that most of the other unions have decided to come in with us.”
More than 7,000 men are employed at the factory.
Italy To Produce B.M.C. Cars
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
OXFORD. AUG. 5
Austin and Morris cars will shortly be produced in Italy, said Sir Leonard Lord, chairman of the British Motor Corporation, today. A joint a announcement by B.M.C and Innocenti of Milan, manufacturers of heavy steel plant and the Lambretta motor scooter, says that these two leading manufacturers have signed an agreement under which Innocenti can assemble and partially manufacture B.M.C. cars for the Italian market. The first models to be produced by Innocenti will be the recently introduced Austin A40, Austin A55, and the Morris Oxford, all of British design with Farina styling.