The Engineering Dispute Rumbles on
By John Ardill
British Leyland has 8,000 workers idle , on strike or laid off ,as it tries to get back to normal after the strike by production workers on Monday and Tuesday, called out as part of the national engineering workers stoppage.
The decision by Leyland Vehicles, the bus and truck division, to lay off indefinitely about 1,100 assembly workers at Bathgate in Scotland flows from disruption, caused by the national dispute. It may be followed by lay-offs at other bus and truck plants. Problems at Bathgate have been exacerbated by a local strike over a regrading dispute, said a Leyland spokesman.
The Jaguar-Rover-Triumph division of BL Cars has laid off 300 workers on the MGB assembly line at Abingdon because of a shortage of parts caused by the national dispute. They are men who worked normally during the two-day stoppage. At Coventry, 3,000 Rover saloon assembly workers walked out yesterday in protest at new manning levels and assignments after the recent closure of one assembly line.
At Longbridge, Birmingham; 3,600 Mini and Allegro assembly workers were sent home because of two disputes. The leader of the abortive anti-strike movement at Longbridge, Mr Mike Savage, told his supporters yesterday that he was giving-up his job rather than face a board of inquiry called by his union the Transport and General Workers.