One time shop steward Harry Adey was in trouble yesterday—from his former workmates at the Jaguar car factory in Coventry. Mr Adey, 36, was a sheet metal worker and shop stewards’ chairman at the Jaguar plant—until three weeks ago. Then he became the firm’s Industrial relations manager.
His troubles began after the sheet-metal union asked Mr Adey to see if the company could take on some of their unemployed members. He started to find out. . . .
Eight days ago, shop stewards sought a meeting with Mr Adey. But when they found the personnel manager was present, they walked
out of the meeting. Last Tuesday, the shop stewards again sought a meeting with Mr Adey . . . alone.
The firm insisted that the personnel manager should be there. And 300 sheet-metal workers came out on strike. On Wednesday , the unions agreed to meet both the management representatives. The men went back to work.
But just before the meeting a letter from Mr Adey was put up on company notice-boards. The letter criticized Tuesday’s walkout as ” futile.”
That instead of the unemployment problem, the union officials argued abut Mr Adey’s ” unconstitutional behaviour.” One union official said yesterday: “We blame Harry Adey for all this trouble — the presence of the personnel manager, as well as that letter.”
A company spokesman said: “Action In this matter has been taken by the company, not by an individual. We claim the right to send anyone we like to these meetings. And that letter merely explained the company’s viewpoint.”
Today, the talks go on.