From Our Correspondent
OXFORD, JULY 19
Five days before their holidays start 3,000 members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union at Morris Motors, Ltd., Cowley, have been called upon to strike tomorrow in support of their chief shop steward, Mr Frank Horsman, who was dismissed last Wednesday.
The management said that Mr Horsman exceeded his duties by instructing two men to stop work during an overtime dispute last Tuesday. Shop stewards insist that Mr Horsman should be reinstated pending an inquiry into the situation. Mr Jack Jones. regional secretary of the union, today announced that the withdrawal of labour by many union members oil Thursday and Friday had received the backing of the executive, He said the dismissal was “unfair and unjustified” and the situation had been provoked by the management.
Mr Jones was speaking after a meeting between himself, Mr Leslie Kealey, national secretary of the T.G.W.U., Mr G. W. Harriman, managing director of the British Motor Corporation, and Mr J. R. Woodcock, deputy managing director of Morris Motors. “We have done everything possible this weekend to try to find a solution.” he said.
“Our officers have been negotiating with the management, but we have not had half an inch of movement from the management.”
The union did not wish the dispute to go on any longer than could possibly be helped, he said, adding: “We are confident that our members will respond tomorrow morning to the official call to stop work and we have been advised by our shop stewards that members of other unions are likely to take solidarity action.”
He was referring to assurances from shop stewards of other unions representing 3,500 men that they would withdraw their labour once the T.G.W.U. had declared the stoppage official. Mr Jones said there were implications beyond those of production at the Morris Motors factory. He hinted that transport between the Cowley factory and B.M.C. factories in the Midlands might_be halted and that B.M.C. stores which send spare parts all over the world for their vehicles would be affected.
The management of Morris Motors issued the following statement tonight:-
“Company representatives have taken part in informal discussions with officials of the Transport and General Workers’ Union over the weekend and remain firmly convinced that the shop steward concerned was justly dismissed. The company deplores the fact that the Transport and General Workers’ Union executive has seen fit to authorize an official strike. Despite this the works will be open as usual tomorrow morning.”