STRIFE HIT ALLEGRO COMES TO A FULL STOP
By David Jack
Production of British Leyland’s newly launched Allegro family saloon stopped yesterday. And it will remain at a standstill until a dispute by bodymakers at Swindon, Wiltshire, is settled. The Swindon row blew up yesterday when 650 press operators making Allegro bodies went on strike protesting about new work study targets.
Eighty miles away at Longbridge, Birmingham, where the car is assembled, the management instructed 2,100 production workers to stay at home today. With export orders pouring in for the new model, company chiefs had planned to open a second assembly line today and boost production to 2,400 cars a week.
The Allegro faces crisis situations on two other fronts. Two thousand men banned maintenance work over the Spring Bank Holiday, delaying essential servicing of plant until this morning. And white-collar workers are threatening walk-outs at Longbridge and at the Rover plant in Solihull because the production men were given an extra day’s holiday at Whitsun under a new engineering package deal.