A new dispute stopped production of 1100 and 1300 cars at the British Leyland assembly works at Longbridge , Birmingham yesterday, when engine assemblers walked out. The strike followed only a day of normal working at Longbridge after a stoppage by 134 women sewing-machine operators, and it took place as important talks were opening between shop stewards and management about a new type of pay structure for the factory.
The machinists went back to work with a modest interim pay award, pending the outcome of the talks about pay structures. The engine assemblers , who would eventually be affected by changes in payment systems , yesterday demanded a similar interim award. They are not expected to discuss a return to work before next Thursday, by which time several thousand other workers at the plant could be made idle. Five hundred were laid off yesterday as assembly lines stopped.
Previous disputes in the engines section have caused a shortage of parts within BLMC which yesterday stopped the production of some cars at the Rover factory at Solihull making 460 workers idle.