Archve : 1000 Sent Home At Car Plant

About 1,000 rnen in the assembly shop at Morris Motors, Oxford, were sent home yesterday because of a shortage of parts caused by an unofficial strike at the Morris radiators factory at Llanelli. The men have been told to report for work today.

A walk-out by 206 members of the A.E.U. yesterday in the Cowley factory of the Pressed Steel Company threatens progressively to disrupt the production of car bodies. Several thousand men at the factory are likely to become idle.

The company makes bodies for Rootes. and British Motor Corporation, and Jaguar. At Llanelli 2,000 men in the press shop went on unofficial strike on Wednesday because of dissatisfaction over piecework rates. The men are to meet tonight.

The strike at the Pressed Steel Company is over the company’s rejection of a claim for a substantial increase in pay by several hundred skilled workers employed on the manufacture and maintenance of dies, jigs and tools. The men involved are not due to meet again until next Thursday. The company said yesterday that meetings had taken place during April and May, including a local conference at Oxford on Wednesday, and the industry’s full negotiating procedure had not yet been exhausted.

The company had offered to meet all the unions concerned on June 10. A.E.U. shop stewards at Pressed Steel claimed that the company was using the official negotiating procedure merely as a formality. They said the claim was based on comparisons with the earnings of piece-workers at Pressed Steel and with the earnings of toolmakers at Morris Motors radiators branch at Oxford and at other car factories in the Midlands.

Keith Adams

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