By Clifford Webb Midland Industrial Correspondent
A strike by 500 white collar workers brought car production to a standstill at British Leyland’s Jaguar works in Coventry last night. A second strike at the group’s Castle Bromwich, Birmingham body works threatens to stop output of Mini and 1100/1300 cars, resumed only yesterday at Austin-Morris, Longbridge.
The Jaguar clerks walked out after rejecting a management offer of a £2.5 a week increase. A company spokesman said without them it was impossible to administer the factory properly and 2,500 manual workers had to be sent home. It was hoped they would be recalled on Thursday.
About 600 press shop workers are on strike at Castle Bromwich following disciplinary action against two workers. The men’s union, the General and Municipal Workers, claimed last night that the men were dismissed instead of being suspended pending an investigation, said to be the accepted practice in such cases. In a statement last night the company denied that the men had been dismissed. Talks were taking place with shop stewards to get the strikers to resume work pending investigation. Production of body panels for Mini and 1100/1300 models has stopped.
Final assembly of these models only resumed at Longbridge yesterday after a two-day shutdown caused by a strike of 1,000 engine workers. Jaguar XJ6 production is also threatened by a shortage of bodies from Castle Bromwich.