By Clifford Webb Midland Industrial Correspondent
Rover is to begin immediate recruiting of additional labour at its Solihull. Birmingham, plant. It is planned to increase production of the best-selling 2000 and 3500 cars by at least 10 per cent. The move follows acceptance by the assembly line workers of one of the most far-reaching pay deals negotiated in the motor industry.
It could give some 4,300 direct workers £46 a week by next July, and provides for increases totalling 21 per cent over three years. A similar deal could be signed by indirect workers within the next fortnight. Mr Jack Rosbrook.
Rover’s personnel director, said last night: “The deal is dependent on five conditions being met by the men. These are concerned with the maintenance of standard performance rates. no increase in the amount of time lost last year through strikes; absenteeism not in excess of 5 per cent. the maintenance of quality standards, and cooperation on redeployment and mobility.”
The three year deal is one of the longest dated agreements reached on pay. It held out prospects for a long period of stability, Rover assembly line workers were among the first in British Leyland to accept a changeover from piecework to measured day work.
Mr Bernard Smith, managing director of Rover, said: “We have a very buoyant demand for the two models and with our order book full for months ahead we are having to quote quite lengthy delivery times particularly for the new 3500s. However, with increased production we hope we shall be able to shorten the time.”
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