Meanwhile another 3,500 Scottish vehicle industry workers are still on strike at the British Leyland truck and tractor plant at Bathgate. They, too, are demanding a big pay increase and have rejected a deal which the manage- ment claims would give them an extra £4 a week.
New piecework dispute:
British Leyland’s plans to introduce a flat rate payment system at the Austin- Morris assembly factory at Longbridge, Birmingham, ran into more trouble yesterday. Production, of Mini and 1800 models came to a standstill when 1,000 assembly workers walked out in a fresh pay dispute.
They had asked for an increased piecework payment and the management, who are discussing a change in the payment system at the factory with the unions, offered an interim flat rate payment instead. This was the formula which ended the recent strike by 130 women sewing machinists and a dispute earlier this week involving 1,000 engine workers, but the assembly workers refused to accept it and walked out saying they would not return until next Thursday. A management spokesman said that progressive lay-offs would occur next week if the strike continues.
Another British Leyland factory in Birmingham was also hit by strike action yesterday. Three hundred day shift workers at the light commercial vehicle division in Adderley Park walked out saying they were uncertain about the future production of some models there. Production of light vans was affected.
Triumph plant hit:
One hundred workers, whose unofficial strike has crippled the Triumph car plant at Speke, Liverpool, have been called to a mass meeting next Monday to hear union officials and to decide whether to go back to work. Yesterday 500 other workers were laid off and almost 150 assembly line workers at the parent factory in Coventry were idle because of lack of trim materials for three models, the TR 6, Stag, and Toledo.
The 1,700 workers in engine and transmission factories of the Rover Company, who have been banning overtime and staging strikes one day a week for the past three weeks, decided yesterday to resume normal working from Monday.