By Clifford Webb
Day long talks between strikers and union officials and later with management produced a peace formula last night which could end the strike of drivers at British Leyland’s Longbridge, Birmingham, car plant. All production was at a standstill at Longbridge last night and nearly 9000 men were idle at this and three other plants in the Austin-Morris division. The jobs of a further 10,000 arc dependent on the formula being accepted.
A management statement said: “As a result of discussions between management and union officials a full resumption of work has been recommended for Monday. This will allow discussions to be finalized on the pay scheme for all 8,000 day workers on which there is already a large degree of agreement.”
So far work has not bcen interrupted at Cowley, Oxford on the all important new Morris car which is due for launching at the end of this month. Unless there is a full return on Monday, however, Cowley will soon be in the same boat as Longbridge, where 6600 men are laid off. A further 1.600 men were sent home yesterday at the Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire, body plant, 200 at Cowley and 200 at Abingdon, Berkshire, where M.G.B. sports car production has stopped.
The 320 drivers on strike are engaged on internal and external transportation of a wide range of components. They include engines, gearboxes and transmission units from Austin Morris plants in the Birmingham area to the Cowley assembly lines. Unless these supplies are restored quickly assembly of the new car will be halted.