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Workers fear closures

4 April 1975

Shop stewards at British Leyland factories are to fight any attempts to dismiss workers. They fear that rationalization proposals recommended by Sir Don Ryder, who has been investigating the ailing motor firm for the Government may result in plant closures and dismissals. The Leyland shop steward combine, representing more than 160,000 workers, gave a warning yesterday that they were prepared to resist compulsory redundancy now, or in the future.

"In a situation where the corporation try to enforce this in any, or all, of the plants it will be resisted with all the organization at our command."

Mr Derek Robinson, newly appointed co-chairman of the combine, said: "We are preparing for any eventuality. If, after Ryder, steps are necessary to rationalize the corporation, it has got to be done in such a way that it does not lead to large scale redundancies. Should any of the plants within the corporation be faced with enforced redundancies, the other plants will give whatever assistance is required."

The combine is to invite conveners from all car and component firms in Britain to a conference in Birmingham on April 23 to review the state of the industry and its problems.

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