Triumph Herald Online Archive and Database

Trauma at Triumph -Part 2

June 21st 1960
Two thousand production men who make Triumph Heralds at the Standard-Triumph works at Coventry were sent home at lunchtime yesterday because of the effects of the strike of 100 disabled workers at the Coventry factory of Remploy.
As the decision to send the Standard men home was reached, it was announced that the Remploy dispute had been settled and the firm had agreed to reinstate a partially blind man and woman over whose dismissal the strike began on Friday. The Remploy factory makes fascia panels for Triumph Herald cars.

September 2nd 1960
Normal working was resumed at the Standard- Triumph international car factory at Coventry yesterday with a return of 150 engine fitters who had been on strike.

In the Midlands motor car industry today there were fears among thousands of car workers and union officials that harder times were returning.
The slowing pace of car exports to the United States in recent months. coupled with a toughening in home market sales, has brought uneasiness to the industry.
Today Standard-Triumph International, of Coventry, officially announced that short-time working was to be introduced soon at their Coventry factories. At the same time the company's car body subsidiary, Mulliners Ltd., Birmingham. said that a cut in their labour force was being considered. Several hundred workers are likely to lose their jobs. Both companies have given as their reasons the seasonal decline in orders
"aggravated by the Government's financial policy ".
A Standard-Triumph official said that the introduction of short time at Coventry would enable the company to retain their labour force. Mulliners are chiefly concerned with the production of TR 3 sports car bodies.
About 8,000 production workers are employed at Standard's Coventry factories, and arrangemerts for the short-time working are still being discussed between the management and shop stewards. It is expected that the five-day week production will be maintained, but various groups of employees will probably lose one day or a half-day on a rota scheme.

Redundancy Likely In Motor Firm
Extensive short-time working is to be operated and some redundancy is likely at the Coventry factories of Standard- Triumph International Company Ltd. as a result of the credit squeeze.
Production workers, already on a four-day week, face a further reduction and talks are being sought with the management by unions. The nightshift has been ended and workers have been switched to day shifts.
Fearing redundancy, 1,000 clerks at the firm are seeking an early meeting with the management. At a meeting of the works branch of the National Association of Clerical and Supervisory Staffs a resolution to seek such a meeting was passed with a request that no redundancy be declared among the clerical workers until all other avenues such as short-time working had been explored. A telegram was also sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating: "We believe that the present difficulties of the motor industry are the direct result of the credit squeeze and we therefore urge immediate easing of the financial restrictions on the motor industry ". A British Motor Corporation spokesman said last night that because of the strike at the Birmingham factory of Nuffield Metal Products, no Morris Minor cars were being produced at present. The rate of production had been about 3,000 a week, but now it was nil because of the stoppage. Mr Frank B. Dixon has been appointed deputy managing director of the board of Standard-Triumph International.

Car Firm Put Some Coventry Workers On 19-Hour Week
From Our Correspondent
Moves by trade unions came yesterday after it was stated that some workers at the Coventry factories of Standard Triumph International, Ltd., are to begin a 19-hour week.
A spokesman for the firm said tonight that less than 25 per cent of the 8,000 workers at the factories were "in the early stage " to work a two and a half day week. The remainder, he said, would work longer hours than this. In union circles, however, it is feared that the number of men concerned will be far in excess of the company's estimate. The company spokesman added: "To avoid redundancy the company has decided upon short-time working. The work available varies from department to department as do also the hours of work. Details of the work available are under discussion between the company and the workers' representatives. It will be some days before a complete picture will be available."
When notices were posted on the works notice boards announcing the move, shop stewards immediately made representations to the management. The firm's 1,000 clerks, fearing redundancy, asked for a similar meeting, and also sent a telegram to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to ease financial restrictions on the motor- industry.
Standard-Triumph, who produce about 5,000 cars a week, are understood to have cut production of the Vanguard range by half because of the credit squeeze and falling American sales. A 30 per cent cut has been made in the Triumph Herald and Triumph sports car output.
The average wage of manual workers at the firm is £23 a week. The cut in hours is expected to reduce the weekly pay packets to about £11 to £12. The Coventry district committee of the Amalgamated Engineering Union has called for a meeting of delegates from all the chief motor industry centres. The meeting would be attended by shop stewards, local and national A.E.U. officials, and M.P.s. The present trends in the industry would be discussed. The Coventry district federation of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions is to hold a special meeting on October 12. The problems facing the motor industry will be discussed by delegates.

S.T.I.'S New Belgian Factory Opened
Standard Triumph International (S.T.I.) marked the opening by the British Ambassador, Sir John Nicholls, of their new £250,000 factory here, 20 miles from Brussels, with an immediate reduction in the Belgian price of the Triumph Herald. Mr A. S. Dick, the managing director, announced this afternoon that the benefits of manufacturing inside the Common Market had made possible an important cut of £49 (7,000 Belgian francs) to £496 10s.
"We are determined", he said, "to keep pace with the demands of the continental markets." Thus Standard becomes what it claims is the only British motor-car manufacturer to establish its own plant within the Common Market. "My company ", Mr Dick said, "in common I believe with the rest of the United Kingdom motor industry, looks upon the division of Europe economically as little short of a catastrophe, but we cannot afford to wait for those whose responsibility it is to resolve the undoubted problems which still exist in bringing them together, and we have therefore launched this project."
The price cut reflects -three major influences:
(i) the saving of 14 per cent on tariff costs by assembly here rather than importing cars completed in the United Kingdom;
(ii) the expectation of growing efficiency as turnover increases here;
(iii) the present highly competitive state of the Belgian car market.
The new factory, built in little more than four and a half months, will initially turn out cars at the rate of 2,500 a year, and it is hoped to raise this progressively up to 10,000 a year. Production, which will concentrate on the three model Triumph Herald range and the Triumph TR3 sports car, will at first be devoted to the Belgian market, but, with the prospect of continuing reductions in internal tariffs among the Common Market countries, exports to the other countries of the six will plainly follow.

October 18th 1960
Nearly 60 men employed at the Speke factory, Liverpool, of Standard-Triumph International have been declared redundant. It is hoped the men will be re-employed later.

1,500 Car Workers May Lose Jobs
The Standard-Triumph International Company, Ltd., of Coventry, are expected to make an announcement tomorrow about plans for redundancy because of a further cut in car production.
It is understood that the company may make between 1,500 and 2,000 manual workers redundant. Since September 22 the firm's 8000 manual workers have been on extensive short time. Some have been working only a 19-hour week, spread over two and a half days. There may also be some redundancy in office staff. Details are to be given to trade union officials and chief shop stewards at a meeting tomorrow at the Coventry headquarters of the Engineering Employers' Association.
There appears to be some pressure from workers on the factory floor for the company to make a clear announcement about future employment prospects. If the firm decided to make men redundant without a cut in production there would be strenuous opposition from the shop stewards, who take the view that work sharing rs the only answer to the present situation.

Standard's To Dismiss 1,700
From Our Correspondent
The Standard Motor Company announced today that 1,700 hourly paid employees at its Coventry factories are to be declared redundant.
The company intends to begin a three-day week for its remaining 6,300 manual workers. Dismissals are also to take place among the company's 1,400 staff employees, though the extent of these is not yet known. An official of the clerical section of the Transport and General Workers' Union put the total as at least 200.
A meeting tonight of several hundred of the staff workers passed a resolution declaring that they would not accept redundancy while they considered short- time working practical.
Since September 8,000 workers at Standard's Coventry works have been on short time. Some 2,000 of these have been engaged on a 19 hour 2-5 day week. News of the redundancies was broken today to union officials at a meeting at the Coventry and District Engineering Employers' Association. A statement by the company said the moves were being made "in view of the general situation in the motor industry ".
The number of men affected was about equal, the firm said, to the increase in its labour force during the past 12 months.
"Discussions will be taking place during the next two weeks with the trade union representatives in accordance with an agreed procedure for dealing with such questions ", the statement concluded. In some sections at Standard's the labour force is to be cut by as much as half. The largest number of men to be dismissed-916-is on the assembly lines at the company's main factory at Canley. In the machine shop at the same works there will be 260 dismissals.
Mr Cyril Taylor, secretary of the Coventry District Committee of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions. which discussed the decision tonight, said: "I cannot see how Standard's could have avoided the situation, but it is an unhappy one, particularly approaching Christmas ".
The 1,700 men affected are to be given a week's notice or a week's pay in lieu on November 22. The total number of vacancies for men in Coventry in the general engineering, vehicle, aircraft, and electrical engineering fields is about 400, the Coventry employment exchange said tonight. While Standard's were announcing their redundancy plans, a strike at their works at Tile Hill, Coventry, halted work on body panels for Triumph Herald cars. The strike, by a small number of sheet metal workers, was over a dispute regarding work inspection. More than 500 men had to be sent home.
Birmingham District Committee of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions last night passed a resolution expressing concern "at the deterioration in the motor car industry and apparent lack of any move by the Government to arrest it ". The meeting decided to ask for talks with Birmingham Labour M.P.s and also to ask the national executive of the confederation to convene a meeting of motor industry delegates.

November 12th 1960
More Redundancy In Car Industry
Representatives of the 241 clerks, draughtsmen and scientific workers who are to be dismissed by Standard Motors at Coventry next week are to meet the management on Monday to discuss a proposal by the employees for short time working instead of redundancy.

November 19th 1960
The 241 staff made redundant at the Standard Motor Company, Coventry, received a week's wages in lieu of notice and left the firm's employ yesterday.

November 28th 1960
Lord Tedder, chairman of Standard- Triumph International Limited, having reached the age of 70, has decided not to seek re-election to the board at the annual meeting at Coventry on December 21. Lord Tedder has, however, accepted an invitation to become President of the company. Mr A. S. Dick, managing director, will be elected chairman of the executive board. Mr Dick is 44.

December 6th 1960
Leyland-Standard Merger Proposed
A surprising merger between Standard-Triumph International and Leyland Motors was proposed by both companies last night.
A proposal to this effect was made by Leyland Motors to the Standard board a fortnight ago. If the deal goes through, it will produce a combined group with assets of some £100m. While Standard produce Standard and Triumph cars, commercial vehicles, diesel engines, and gas turbine engines, Leyland, with assets of over £52m., make heavy commercial and passenger motor vehicles, trolley buses, fire engines and heavy oil engines. Leyland is the largest heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer in the country. Under the proposals Leyland will acquire the whole of the ordinary capital of Standard on the basis of two ordinary stock units of £1 each in Leyland for 15 ordinary stock units of 5s. each in Standard.
Lord Tedder, chairman of Standard, said last night that the Standard directors considered that the proposed terms of the amalgamation with Leyland-" an entirely British concern "-were fair. They recommended their acceptance by all Standard ordinary stockholders and intended to do so in respect of their own holdings.

Leyland Motors Bid For Standard-Triumph
Finance, Industry, and Commerce
By Our City Editor
Among the various possible bidders for Standard - Triumph International mentioned over the past few weeks, Leyland Motors has been one of the least often suggested.
Last night the Leyland directors revealed that they approached the Standard board about a fortnight ago and are now making a share exchange offer for the whole of the issued capital of Standards. The exact value the bid places on the Standard shares is complicated by the possible price of Leyland when the market learns that the company's pre-tax profits last year were nearly doubled at over £9m. and that a five-point increase in dividend to 20 per cent is forecast. Assuming a price of 85s. for Leyland, this makes the Standard shares worth 11s. 3d. against a closing price last night before the news of 9s. 10-d. and a low of 7s. 6d. earlier this year.
The reasons behind the bid can be divided into administrative and financial Categories. Leyland and Standard's products do not overlap at all: Standard makes cars and light commercial vehicles (up to one ton). Leyland makes commercial vehicles of over seven tons. Administratively, therefore, Leyland would be able to offer a comprehensive range of commercial vehicles to meet the wide range offered by overseas competitors. It will also be able to extend the use of diesel engines into light commercial vehicles, and presumably, if a combined board thought fit, more of the Standard expansion programme could be used for commercial vehicle plant than at present envisaged. For Standard the administrative advantages are not so obvious. The company will benefit from the joint purchasing of raw materials that will be possible, and overseas there will be economies in joint marketing, sales headquarters, warehouses.
Financially, the offer will mean for Leyland issuing some four million shares and therefore increasing the authorized capital by about £2m. For a 40 per cent increase in issued ordinary capital, Leyland shareholders will get an increase of about 33 per cent in earnings based on a five-year average for Leyland and the latest Standard figures (earlier ones are complicated by Massey-Ferguson). But on the 1959-60 figures, assuming normal tax charges, the acquisition will add only about 20 per cent to earnings.
For Standard the financial attractions of the offer are clear. The company's last balance sheet suggested that it had been severely hit by the motor recession, with the stocks figure up from £9m. to £20m. and the cash position down from £14m. to £3m. Now the board announces that with three months of the financial vear completed, it does not expect to be able to maintain the dividend rate at 12 per cent. While this setback is seen as a temporary phase, Mr A. S. Dick, the newly elected chairman of Standard, said yesterday that it might take two or three years "to pull the group together ".
Leyland shareholders will clearly need more precise information about Standard's current trading position before authorizing an increase in their own capital to make the bid possible. Details will presumably be included in the formal offer.

December 7th 1960
In todays Times, Lord Tedder of Standard-Triumph and Sir Henry Spurrier of Leyland recomend to their shareholders the merger of their 2 companies.

Car Body Factory To Close
There was a new shock tonight for Midland car workers when it was announced that Standard-Triumph International, for whom Leyland Motors made a bid earlier in the week, were closing down one of their subsidiary body building factories here. The factory, that of Mulliners Ltd., one of the oldest body firms in the motor trade, employs about 800 workers, having recently laid off some 750 as redundant because of a shortage of orders. The firm became a subsidiary of Standards of Coventry two years ago and since then has concentrated on the production of bodies for several Standard models.
Trade union officials were told of the decision to stop production at the factory at a conference held this afternoon. A Mulliners official said: "We have been informed by Standard-Triumph International that it is necessary to streamline the company's factories in order to make the most economical use of the production facilities available. It has therefore been decided to move the existing Mulliners products to other Midlands factories within the group."


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