Workers at the Ford Motor Company's giant plant at Dagenham. London, today (Sunday Feb 15th)?
Workers at the Ford Motor Company's giant plant at Dagenham. London, today (Sunday Feb 15th) voted against a union recommendation to go on strike. ??? majority of Ford's 48-thousand workers in Britain rejected the strike call at meetings at several plants. At only one plant -- in Wales -- did the workers vote to strike.
The Swansea plant, where workers voted in favour of a strike, produces rear axle and chassis components and a close-down here could make other Ford plants idle.
Government officials have warned that a shutdown of the Ford plants could damage Britain's reviving economy.
The dispute was over a pay increase. Ford had offered the men all increase of between four pounds (11 dollars) and five pounds 15 shillings sterling (16 dollars) representing a rise of about 18 per cent.
Union shop stewards recommended that the men reject the offer and hold out for an increase nearer to 10 pounds (27 dollars) a week. They said a pay rise of this size was needed to bring Ford workers into line with other car factory workers.
Two unions -- the Transport and General Workers' Union and the Amalgamated Engineering Union -- offered to make a stoppage official if today's mass meetings were in favour of this. But there was a clear majority in favour of staying at work except at the Swansea plant where the vote in favour of strike was passed by the narrow majority of 559 to 478.