Archive : Unofficial Strike Halts Car Line


An unofficial strike by 100 paint shop workers at Morris Motors Ltd., Oxford. caused 600 men on the Morris Oxford assembly line to be sent home today. The paint shop men were dissatisfied with increased piece-work earnings after a speed-up in the assembly line. They rejected a request by the management to return to work after twice stopping during the morning. It was expected that production would be resumed tomorrow.

In a statement the management said that there would be a loss of 150 completed cars during the day.

“The background of the stoppage is that today the company were scheduled to increase production on the Oxford line by one and a half vehicles an hour. Accordingly, the line was remanned, which resulted in a slight increase in the piece-work earnings. At 7.15 a.m. the men on the paint line did not start work. They demanded an interview with the management as they were dissatisfied with the new earnings. This was refused until they returned to work. There was a resumption at 8.15 a.m. but they again stopped at 10 a.m. The management gave them until 10.30 a.m. to return but as they did not do so the paint line was closed. The assembly line workers were sent home at 11 a.m.”

The Friday night strikes by night shift workers demanding a four night week in some British Motor Corporation factories in Birmingham have led to production of the Morris Minor at Oxford being cut. Morris Motors management said today that they had been compelled to cut production by two cars an hour on both day and night shifts until further notice. This would mean a loss of 168 cars or about £70,000 a week.

Keith Adams

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