By Patrick Wintour , Labour Correspondent
A meeting of Austin Rover shop stewards yesterday recommended acceptance of a two year pay deal. The recommendation which will be put in a ballot of the company’s 28,000 manual workers over the next week also rejects industrial action. The company has offered a 3 per cent increase on basic rates in each of the two years.
The basic gross pay of an average skilled worker would rise to £148 a week from November and to £152.45 in the second year of the deal. In addition , workers would have the opportunity to earn a maximum £43.50 bonus per week, of which £33.50 would consist of productivity bonus and £10 a new quality bonus.
After a meeting of more than 100 shop stewards yesterday at Coventry, union leader s conceded that the relative ease of this year’s negotiations reflected the commercial difficulties facing the British motor car industry. A key to the settlement was management’s willingness to drop proposals for unpopular new shift patterns.
Workers at Jaguar Cars in Coventry returned to work yesterday after shop stewards outlined a temporary peace formula: aimed at giving time for fresh talks over union objections to work measurement. Separate pay talks at Jaguar resume today.