FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, SEPT. 1
Because of the month-old strike of 21 tool setters at the factory here of S.U. Carburettors. Ltd., several thousand workers in the Midland motor industry were idle today. The firm is a subsidiary of the British Motor Corporation.
Five thousand men at the Morris Motors plant at Oxford, the worst hit factory, were laid off. At the Birmingham factory of Nuffield Metal Products another 1,000 men are idle.
Although the 1,000 workers at the Coventrv factory of Jaguar cars are still laid off the 800 men at the Rover plant in Solihull who were affected yesterday resumed work today.
The strike began when a man promoted to toolsetter refused to join the Amalgamated Engineering Union. At another B.M.C. subsidiary, Fisher and Ludlow, Ltd., Birmingham, who make car bodies, 209 maintenance electricians are on official strike in support of a pay claim, but there has been no effect-on production so far.
Our Labour Correspondent writes:
National officers of the two unions concerned in the S.U. Carburettor dispute are to discuss it next Tuesday while they are attending the Trades Union Congress at Portsmouth. If no progress is made as a result of these talks the T.U.C. General Council may consider mediating.
8,000 motor workers idle. Lay-off by BMC angers unions
The lay-off of 4,000 men by Morris Motors at their Cowley factory at Oxford because of a fallin supplies of carburettors is being contested by the men’s leaders. Mr Rupert Werrett, senior shop steward of the Amalgamated Engineering Union complained yesterday that the managements actions had not been justified. He said: “We are taking this up officially with the management. There is a lot of strong feeling about it. We are not saying that people will not have to be laid off , but doing this at noon on Thursday without any consultation with the unions was not justified. ”
Before Mr Werrett’ s statement , the management laid off a further 1,000, bringing the total out of work to 5,000. The delay in supplies of carburettors brought about by a strike of 21 tool setters at the SU Carburettor Company, Erdington, has lasted for five weeks, is hindering output at other car industry plants.
Altogether, about eight thousand workers in the Midlands motor industry were idle yesterday.
Four hundred more workers were laid off yesterday at another branch of the British Motor Corporation â€”Nuffield Metal Products, Birmingham, where 600 were already idle.
Production of Jaguar Mark 2 cars was at a standstill at the firms Coventry works, and about a thousand were out of work. Only 50 men will be able to work on Monday, and the remainder are not to report back until Tuesday. Elsewhere, the position improved: Rover ‘s gave work again to the 770 laid off on Thursday at its main assembly plant at Solihull and at its engine works at Tyseley. But a spokesman said that the position might deteriorate.
The other strike in the BMC group , that of 250 paint shop workers who downed tools on Thursday at the Austin factory at Longbridge over work allocation , ended before lunch yesterday after talks with the management. A motor industry strike whose effect has not yet been felt is that of 209 maintenance electricians who stopped work on Thursday at the Fisher and Ludlow car body firm at Birmingham. Output at the factory will continue so long as the electrical plant does not require servicing. Both Fisher and Ludlow and the SU Carburettor Company are BMC subsidiaries. The electricians , all members of the ETU, are demanding a pay rise which could give them an extra £2 8s on a basic 42 hour week.