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  1. ITV Report

Sir Michael Edwardes dies at the age of 78

Sir Michael Edwardes, a key figure in the industrial disputes that seemed a constant feature of Midlands car production in the 1970s has died at the age of 88.

Here's an overview of Sir Michael's life from Bob Warman.

Sir Michael Edwardes, a key figure in the industrial disputes that seemed a constant feature of Midlands car production in the 1970s.

He'll be best remembered as the man who took on the trade unions when strikes and walkouts dominated the headlines.

His appointment as chairman of British Leyland, which then encompassed Austin, Morris, Rover, Jaguar and Triumph, came at a time when the partially nationalised group was threatened with extinction.

Sir Michael Edwards has died at the age of 88 Credit: ITV Central News

He reported that the factories were out of control and virtually run by militant shop stewards.

Edwardes was knighted for his efforts in 1979, recognising his achievement in taking a strike-bound conglomerate and restructuring the brands to survive in a privatised era.

In the ensuing years he took on various chairmanships and was involved in a number of acrimonious takeover battles which suited his combative style but he will be remembered in this region as an iconic figure in the motor industry's most troubled period.

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