Archive : Morris Criticism Of Union


The management of Morris Motors Limited accused the Transport and General Workers Union today of flouting the procedure for avoidance of disputes by making official the strike of their 3,000 members at the firm’s Cowley factory.

Production is almost at a standstill because of the strike. which is aimed at the reinstatement of the chief shop steward, Mr Frank Horsman, who was dismissed last Wednesday. In a statement the management said that although the strike was now official it was
“in every way unconstitutional. Mr Horsman was dismissed because of a continuous and deliberate policy of obstruction. insubordination and insolence over a period of many years culminating in the incident of July 14 when he instructed certain men to stop work.

As early as 1952 the company tried to convince the union that Mr Horsman was unsuitable as a shop steward ………In the face of extreme provacation the company had exercised the greatest forebearance and restraint over a period of years , but the position became intolerable . In the interests not only of the management but also of the work people , and indeed the TGWU , there was no reasonable alternative but to eliminate this influence .”

Commenting on the statement, Mr J. Thomas, district secretary of the union, said that was completely misleading. References had been made to various industrial disputes as though Mr Horsman were responsible for them all.

” This is a thoroughly dishonest approach. In fact, far from being a trouble-maker Mr Horsman has been instrumental in avoiding many disputes. He has been a good shop steward and has been at great pains to act constitutionally”.


Production of the new A99 and A55 cars was held up today at the Austin Motor Company’s factory at Longbridge because of a strike of 200 paint shop workers. Two thousand production workers had to be sent home after negotiations had failed.
The paint shop workers walked out on Monday in protest against a management plan to increase the shop labour force by 10. The dispute at Morris Motors, Oxford, resulted in 2,000 workers at the Birmingham factory of Nuffield Metal Products being sent home. This is about two-thirds of the labour force at the factory which produces bodies for the Morris Minor.

Keith Adams

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