Archive : Strike threatens Cowley lay-offs

A strike by 2,400 workers on the Maxi and Marina lines at the Cowley car body plant, Oxford, which began yesterday, threatens to cause further massive lay-offs for Austin-Morris employees. The body plant men, stopped work after rejecting the employers’ proposals for settlement of their claim for payment while laid off by a dispute at the neighbouring car assembly plant.

This has made over 10,000 workers at Cowley idle. The body plant workers returned last Thursday, after a week’s lay-off, but stopped on Friday after lodging their claim. They had been laid off for an indefinite period while workers at the assembly plant went in each day and carried on until the appearance of industrial engineers sparked off the walk-outs.

The body, plant workers agreed yesterday to go back so that talks could begin, but stopped again after hearing of the company’s proposed settlement.

Union officials will today try to settle a strike which yesterday halted British Leyland’s Triumph plant at Speke Hall, Liverpool. At a mass meeting they will urge 100 men who walked out of the paint, trim and, assembly shop yesterday to return. The walkout resulted in the laying-off of 2,000 production workers at Speke Hall and at the Woodend Avenue plant.

The trouble started last week over disciplinary action against a man already warned for allegedly leaving early. The unions have agreed with the disciplinary move.

Keith Adams

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