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Union busting boss Sir Michael Edwardes dies.

Sir Michael Edwardes, the union busting boss who helped define the 70s battle against militant shop stewards, has died.

He was aged 88.

South African businessman Sir Michael took charge of British Leyland (BL) in 1977 at the behest of the Labour government.

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But it was two years later, under a newly installed Thatcher government, that he turned around the fortunes of the ailing car maker.

BL was a troubled nationalised company.

Its marques included Rover, Austin, Morris, Jaguar and Triumph.

It had lost production of 250,000 cars through endless industrial disputes and needed state cash to pay its workers.

Sir Michael cut the workforce from 172,000 to 90,000.

And, he by-passed the militant shop stewards and appealed directly to the workers to help to save the business.

His tough no nonsense action saw productivity rise.

Sir Michael was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1930.

His career was spent split between the African continent and England.

He is survived by his wife Sheila, three daughters, five grandchildren and sister Jill.

 

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