Archive : Oxygen Strike Threat To Major Industries

By Our Labour Correspondent

Several thousand motor industry workers were laid off yesterday because the unofficial strike of employees of British Oxygen Gases, Ltd., had cut off supplies of oxygen and acetylene to their factories, and thousands more in vehicle production, steel manufacture, engineering and shipbuilding were warned that there would be no work for them if the strike went on. Another 600 of the company’s manual workers joined in the strike yes- terday, bringing the total to 2,000 out of a labour force of 3,500 and affecting 27 of the 52 plants, but there were signs of a break by the afternoon, when about 140 strikers at lpswich, Hackney, and Ilford agreed to resume work.

Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., of Luton, announced plans yesterday to fly supplies of oxygen and acetylene from Belgium, France, and Germany to enable their factory to keep going for another four or five days. The first consignment-six cylinders-arrived yesterday from Brussels.

The Standard Motor Company at Coventry laid off 2,000 workers yesterday afternoon as all van and car assembly work came to a stand- still, and another 500 went last night.

Several thousand employees of the British Motor Corporation were also rendered idle and so were hundreds at Mulliners, Ltd., of Birmingham, car body manufacturers. Work was coming to a standstill last night at the Pressed Steel car body factories at Cowley and Swindon, putting 16,000 men out of work.

An official of the Austin Motor Company said that all their production lines had stopped and nearly 10,000 workers had been laid off.

Today at the Paris Motor Show the Jaguar Mk2 is unveilled.

Keith Adams
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