Yesterday 1,200 workers at British Leyland’s Rover car plant at Solihull, Birmingham, had to be laid off because of a shortage of wheels, made by Rubery Owen. Production of the 2000 and 3500 range was stopped. Some workers were also laid off at the Jaguar plant in Coventry.
The main problems for British Leyland are, however, likely. to come next week as stocks of components for the Austin. Morris car range become depleted. Production could be hit at both Longbridge, Birmingham, and Cowley, Oxford, where British Leyland has recently suffered dislocation because of disputes over work study and lay-off pay.
These disputes appeared to have been resolved yesterday when 3,500 body shop workers at Cowley, who have been on strike throughout this week, voted to return to work on Monday. The shutdown of Marina and Maxi production during this week has cost another £5m worth of lost output to be added to the £10m lost during disputes on the assembly lines last month.