By Clifford Webb
More than 200 shop stewards at Triumph’s Canley plant in Coventry rejected a proposed new pay and conditions structure yesterday, only hours after the management had announced it. Mr Eddie McGarry, convener for the Transport and General Workers’ Union at Canley and joint chairman of the powerful British Leyland combined shop stewards committee, said after the meeting: “We are all bitterly disappointed. After months of negotiation management has chosen to ignore our alternative proposals and is trying to force measured day work down our neck in place of piece-work.”
Instead, he claimed, some men would be receiving £4 a week less and would have to work faster.
“This is the first time that anywhere in British Leyland men have been asked to take a drop in wages when they are changing over from piecework to measured day work”.
Mr Jim Griffin, convener for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers at the same plant, called the offer ” peanuts “. The company proposals, described by a spokesman as planned earnings with planned production ‘. are based on a flat rate of £1.07 an hour. This gives £42.80 for a 40-hour week, rising to £46.80 a year after the agreement is signed.
About 90 per cent of the 2,600 hourly paid manual workers at the Austin-Morris car assembly plant voted yesterday against their shop stewards’ recommendation and accepted the company’s pay offer. Similar terms have been proposed for nearly 4,000 non-production line workers in the adjoining body plant.