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Raymond Challinor

‘No Concessions’ Say Stewards
as Leyland Pay Talks Begin

(19 June 1969)

From Socialist Worker, No. 127, 19 June 1969, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

LEYLAND, Tuesday:– As 12 representatives from the British Leyland strike committee journey to York for talks to end the month-old strike of 8500 workers at the five Lancashire plants, the management must be ruefully considering their predicament.

The determination of the workers to fight for a decent wage has been a great shock to them. Added to that determination are hard financial facts.

The effects of the strike are starting to hurt.

British Leyland is losing £1,200,000 a week and the shortage of spare parts produced in Lancashire is growing worse and hitting their customers.

Albion Motors in Glasgow is losing £450,000 a week and Jaguar in, the Midlands £320,000.

The money is starting to roll into the strike fund. Contributions are coming from all sections of the community, ranging from old age pensioners to even the company’s foremen.

But the most important contribution is from the other workers in the British Leyland combine who are giving an hour’s pay each week.


As the strike enters its fifth week no one has attempted to cross the picket line.

They are determined to win their demands of £24 a week for skilled piece workers, parity of bonus for women and £18 10s for new starters. The present flat rate is £14 for a skilled man.

At the last mass meeting, strikers’ morale was high. The vote to stay out was unanimous. At the same time there were shouts of ‘Bring them all out’ – meaning the rest of the 200,000 workers in the British Leyland combine.


And the demand for parity with the Midlands appears to be growing. Colin Fishwick, a leading shop steward, chaired the meeting and put a resolution on parity.

It was carried almost unanimously.

Len Brindle, the convenor, said, ‘Our position is strengthening. We go to York determined to make no concessions.’

Another steward said: ‘The toughest battle will be at 9.30 a.m. at York on Wednesday when we meet the full-time officials. The fight with the management is secondary.’

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