British Leyland yesterday forestalled possible union plans to stage a Work-in at its van body plant in Birmingham It withdrew preliminary redundancy notices served on 750 employees and 2,300 workmates immediately agreed’ to end their week-old strike against the redundancies.
Last night a Midland union leader claimed that the change of heart was a victory for tough action by a labour force facing redundancy. Mr George Wright, Birmingham official of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, said “This shows what happens when we flex our muscles and we shall take similar steps every time we are faced with redundancy which in our view is not necessary. We shall do everything possible to make life difficult for management which has fallen down on the job and believes the only answer is to sack men.”
British Leyland last night denied that its change of heart on the redundancy issue bad been influenced by reports of a possible work-in at the van body factory or by the tough action taken by the whole labour force of 2,300. A company spokesman said it had become possible to withdraw the notices because shop stewards had now agreed to discuss redeployment.
“The company has been concerned to minimise hardship to the majority of people as there are other jobs available in other parts of Austin-Morris”, he said,