New signs of car strike collapse
Support for the two-week old BL pay strike showed fresh signs of collapse during the weekend at Austin Rover’s body and assembly plants at Cowley, Oxford.
Skilled pipe fitters and pattern makers decided yesterday to cross picket lines today; a similar decision was taken on Saturday by 450 engineering union craftsmen. The craftsmen had previously accepted the company’s pay offer of 10 per cent spread over the next two years, but were unwilling to cross picket lines. Their change of mind means that the previously quiet picket lines at Cowley are likely to see some form of confrontation today.
BL’s resistance to any climbdown was emphasized by Mr Norman Haslam, the company’s director of employee relations.
Austin Rover is due to return to the High Court today to begin contempt proceedings against defiant union leaders (the Press Association reports). It plans to ask for damages from those unions which have not rejected the strike in line with the injunction granted a fortnight ago.