Archive : Uneasy Peace At Morris Works

From Our Correspondent
OXFORD, AUG. 13

There was further trouble at the Morris Motors factory at Cowley today within a few hours of the 3,500 strikers returning to work after the temporary settlement of the dispute over the dismissed shop steward, Mr Frank Horsman.

About 350 paint shop workers downed tools in the afternoon, refusing to work with a member of the Amalgamated Engineering Union who, they alleged, had done their job-spraying-during the strike. The stoppage lasted about an hour and 40 minutes before the men returned to the paint shop on the advice of their shop stewards pending negotiations about the matter. They made it clear that they want the A.E.U. man removed from their gang. The stoppage followed continuous bickering during the morning.

It underlines the split between the A.E.U., whose 2,000 members remained at work during the strike, and members belonging to the 11 unions who were ordered to withdraw their labour. The A.E.U.’s decision not to withdraw their members prompted Mr Jack Jones, regional secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, to refer to the “tremendous split” in the trade unions. Addressing the 3,500 strikers before their return to work at 8.15 a.m., he said: “I must say that as a trade unionist of long standing I think it is a terrible thing to have happened.”

With only one member voting against, Oxford and District Trades Council tonight decided to write to the A.E.U. and demand an explanation of their position during the strike. Mr Norman Brown, a member of the A.E.U. employed at Morris Motors’ Cowley factory, said his branch had already passed a resolution condemning the attitude of the executive and had sent a donation to the members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union on strike.

Keith Adams
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