There was hope, however. last night for the 7,200 employees laid off at Austin Morris’ and Pressed Steel Fisher. Drivers on strike for the past fortnight at Howard Tenens, Swindon, agreed to return to work to- morrow. Their strike stopped deliveries of body panels from PS.F.. at Swindon to Austin Morris car plants at Cowley, Longbridge and Abingdon.
Last night 4,650 final assembly and engine workers were idle at the three car plants and production of the 1100-1300 range and MG sports cars was at a stand- still. In addition 2,548 P.S.F. workers were laid off at Swindon, Cowley, Llanelli and Castle Bromwich.
Pat Lowry, British Leyland’s new director of industrial relations, said yesterday that he plans to visit all the group’s 70 plants in Britain during the next two months to talk to managers, shop stewards and workers. A former director of the Engineering Employers Federation, he will be examining the whole question of pay and payment systems and looking into more ,effective dispute procedures.
A likely casualty will be the traditional piece work system which the rest of the motor industry has now dropped.