22 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 4

Old Battles

Ttte new outbreak of troubles at Ford is hardly surprising. In the traditional fashion the management prefaced their attempt to intro- duce a new system with an unusually large pay award a few weeks ago, even though they had said that they could not really afford the last increase not many months before. The effort to buy off conflict signally failed, as under such circumstances it always will. The management's view that the running of the factory is a highly technical matter which requires only managerial expertise to make decisions is as outdated as it is wrong. One must wonder what kind of ex- pertise it is that leads to so many upsets with the men. The example of Ford is -a case-book lesson in industrial psychology. It is not just .money that matters. to the men, but a sense of partnership. There can be no relief in the fAct that the present strike threat may well come to nothing. What matters is that the unrest is there and that until both men and Management do something about making a system of joint consultation work the situation is unlikely to improve.