At the Triumph car plant in Coventry—-part of the British Leyland Group—a one day strike by 1,200 clerical workers stopped production and made 5,500 other workers idle.
British Leyland is keeping to its firm line of resistance against threshold increases by pointing out that to concede the expected increases linked to rises in the price index could add about £40 millions to the wage bill.
The British Leyland management—-which will tomorrow hold the latest in a series of informal talks with unions to discuss the company’s financial situation and prospects—-is standing by its policy of conducting annual pay negotiations for most of its workers. Once the statutory pay limitations are removed, it believes that these negotiations can produce wage increases that will take care of increases in the cost of living.
The unofficial shop stewards combine which claims to speak for shop floor workers in all British Leyland plants, is not prepared to accept this. After a meeting in Birmingham yesterday, the stewards accused British Leyland of abrogating its responsibilities and called on all factories to put forward claims through normal negotiating machinery. They said that if there was failure to agree, national union officials and all British Leyland conveners should meet to decide on further action.
In the meantime, the stewards called for a union delegation to see the government to press for subsidies on all essentials.