Archive : Strikes Hit 16,000 Car Workers At Coventry

From Our Correspondent COVENTRY, MAY 27

Two Coventry factories, Jaguar Cars, Ltd. and Standard-Triumph International, Ltd., both big dollar earners with bulging order books, were at a standstill today with over 10,000 workers on strike or thrown idle because of pay disputes.

Because of the Pressed Steel Company strike at Oxford, and the shortage of car bodies, between 6,000 and 7,000 Rootes workers at Coventry are to be stood off tomorrow and on Wednesday, when the working position will be reviewed for the rest of the week.

Standard-Triumph, idle since Friday, have 260 maintenance men and transport drivers on strike and 6,000 production employees on a token protest stoppage. The maintenance men had refused a company offer oif an extra 1Os. a week, coupled with a request that the production men’s bonus be cut. When supervisory staff took over maintenance and transport driving duties, all the firm’s production men quickly classified their work as ” black ” and walked out.

Today the 260 strikers decided to stay out until Friday, when they meet again, and the 6,000 are meeting tomorrow to review the situation. It seems unlikely, however, they will return, considering their original action in not accepting the work done by supervisory staff.  Standard Triumph spokesman: ‘Strike action interrupted negotiations on a pay claim . The negotiations cannot be continued until work is resumed .”

At Jaguar Cars, 750 key workers who handle material and inspect components went on strike today complaining of lack of progress in introducing an individual incentive bonus scheme. The rest of the firm’s 3,500 labour force had to be laid off, and they have been asked to report back on Wednesday morning to await the outcome of a meeting by the strikers the same morning

A spokesman for Jaguar Cars said: “The walk-out was against the advice of their shop stewards. The bonus scheme was put forward by the company and agreed with unions and employees. It means greater remuneration for greater efforts by the day workers, and it was accepted that it would take time to introduce.”

Keith Adams

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