Archive : Strike at Cowley

A strike with serious long term implications for British Leyland has stopped all car production at Austin-Morris, Cowley. Some 5,000 men walked out of the assembly plant, causing another 1,350 to be laid off in the adjoining body factory. The strikers object to the presence of industrial engineers carrying out work measurement studies.

The introduction of work measurement was agreed by the Cowley men more than 18 months ago when they switched from piecework to a flat day rate. According to the company, they have dragged their feet ever since over actual implementation. A relatively minor strike by 130 clerical workers at British Leyland, Triumph, Coventry, has stopped all car assembly and led to 7,500 men being laid off, practically the whole of the labour force.

The strikers are in dispute because a January 1 pay increase is being held up by the Government’s pay and prices policy. After a two-day process strike over manning in which day and night shifts objected to being reduced by three men, 75 painters at the Triumph car factory at Speke Hall, Liverpool, return to work today, on a limited scale.

No overtime will be worked on Saturday. This position will be reviewed on Monday morning.

Keith Adams

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