Archives : Strikes Are Plain Stupid, Says Stokes

By Patrick Mennem and John Husband

The two top bosses in Britain’s biggest motor company lashed out at strikers yesterday. Sir Donald Stokes, managing director of British Leyland, condemned strikes as, ‘plain stupidity.’

He warned: ‘Each strike or dispute is another feather plucked out of the goose that lays the golden egg . And I must admit that management is feeling pretty plucked right now.’

Sir Donald, speaking at a lunch in London, added: ‘Full employment is an objective which I believe is uppermost in the minds of most employees, and particularly their wives and families.’

The best way to ensure full employment, he said, was not by strikes, but by ‘maximum productivity from every operating union.’
Later Sir George Harriman, who hands over the chairmanship of British Leyland to Sir Donald next month, claimed that the wave of strikes this year showed there was ‘ a nation-wide breakdown of responsibility and discipline, a form of creeping anarchy.’

Sir George, president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, called for the creation of one big trade union to organise every worker in the motor industry .

Keith Adams

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