Archive : Top level bid to settle Austin-Morris dispute

By R. W. Shakespeare

Top level management/union talks will be held in York today to try to resolve the month old strike which has stopped all car production at British Leyland’s Austin-Morris plant at Cowley, Oxford. The stoppage by 1,100 men has made another 2,300 idle and already cost the company more than £10m. in lost productiom.

It has been declared official by the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers, one of the main unions involved. The second, the Transport & General Workers, is expected to follow suit. Senior British Leyland management representatives will travel to York to meet union leaders assembled for the meeting of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions.

Plant level representatives are also expected to attend. The dispute is over the pay rates to apply when the Morris 1000 assembly lines are phased out of production. The Cowley men are insisting that present average piece work earnings be maintained.

Two more British Leyland plants hit

Assembly lines at two other British Leyland plants in the Midlands were still shut down yesterday by unofficial strikes. At Solihull, Warwickshire, Rover 2000 and 3500 production was halted because of trouble at the company’s Acocks Green, Birmingham, engine plant, where seven component washers and 10 internal truck drivers are on strike over pay disputes.

This has made 500 other workers idle with another 1,000 laid off at Solihull. Land Rover production at Solihull, halted on Tuesday by a 24 hour token strike by 40 workers at another components plant in Birmingham, returned to normal yesterday.

Keith Adams
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