From John Earle Rome, Aug 29
Leyland Innocenti today reached an agreement with the Italian metalworkers’ unions which overcomes for the immediate future a dispute about its plans to dismiss one-third of the labour force. Instead of the redundancies the workers will take it in turns until the end of December to be temporarily laid off, drawing remuneration from public funds the factory will operate a single shift system.
This agreement, achieved after week-long talks at the Labour Ministry here, results from a mediation proposal by the minister, Signor Mario Toros. The unions have gained the point that for the time being job levels are not threatened and the company benefits from not having to pay the wages of what it considers excess personnel.
However, the long-term problem of the future of the Milan based subsidiary of British Leyland remains unsolved. Since the dispute flared up at the end of July, BL has insisted that it saw no future in maintaining output in Italy (mainly the assembly of Minis) unless production was cut from 60,000 to 40,000 a year, and the 4,600 workforce reduced by about 1,700.