By Robert Head
City financier Jim Slater told British Leyland shareholders yesterday why their firm is broke. Waving a page from the Daily Mirror, Mr Slater, a director of the trouble-hit car group, said one reason was that ” our labour is the least productive in the world.”
He quoted figures printed in the Mirror on June 26 showing that production from workers in key British industries was lower than many European competitors. “In cars we are less than half as productive as others, in railways less than a third, in steel two-fifths, in shipbuilding a third, in coal a
quarter,” he said.
Mr Slater backed a government rescue bid for British Leyland masterminded by former Industry Secretary Tony Wedgwood Benn , under which shareholders are offered only 10p a share. The firm’s chairman, Lord Stokes, was heckled as he tried to explain the terms of the offer.
The meeting voted to accept the bid and reorganization plans.