The new year has started badly for Jaguar Cars at Coventry which this coming week could lose about 750 cars, worth £2.3m, because of two strikes. About 200 men are involved in the interrelated disputes and they are not due to meet until next Thursday. The management said yesterday that a progressive laying-off of labour had started on Thursday and by last night all vehicle production was stopped with some 2,500 men made idle. Union officials are deeply concerned but the company, while expressing regret, said there could be no discussions until normal working.
One thousand workers were laid off yesterday when engine assembly at the Austin Morris factory at Longbridge, Birmingham, was hit by a manning dispute. The trouble began on Thursday’s night shift, when 200 crankshaft machinists walked out, and 500 engine assemblers had to be sent home. A further 500 on the engine assembly day shift were laid off. A British Leyland spokesman hoped the men would resume work on Monday.