FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT
BIRMINGHAM, APRIL 22
More than 3,000 night shift workers did not report for work at three British Motor Corporation factories here tonight. As a result, 600 men on the Morris Minor assembly line at the Morris Motor works, Cowley, will be laid off on Monday, said a B.M.C. official.
Because of a shortage of car bodies caused by tonight’s absenteeism, the assembly line would not be working until Monday night, he added. The men are staying away in support of their unofficial demand for a four-night working week of 10-5 hours a night. This is the third Friday on which these tactics have been employed.
More than half the night shift of 1,200 men were not at work tonight at the Washwood Heath factory of Nuffield Metal Products where the Morris Minor bodies are made. Another 2,200 men were absent from the works of Fisher and Ludlow, Ltd.. Erdington. By tomorrow the series of strikes will have cost the B.M.C. a total of almost 1,000 car bodies and 60 vans, the official said. It was estimated that this represented a loss of almost £500,000 at a time when demand at home and overseas was particularly strong.
A large proportion of the absentees tonight were members of the National Union of Vehicle Builders.
Mr J. Orford, the union’s assistant secretary, said in Manchester today: “We have been unable to persuade the men in the locality that long working shifts are bad. As a union we strongly deprecate lengthening the working shift.”