The problem of scheduling in dynamic shops is an important operational problem in view of its complexity and significance in terms of associated costs of scheduling. While a number of research studies have investigated the problem of scheduling in flow shops and job shops, only some attempts have been done to study the problem of scheduling in assembly job shops that manufacture multi-level jobs. The problem of scheduling in dynamic assembly job shops with jobs having weights for holding and tardiness of jobs deserves due attention. In this study an attempt has been made to propose new priority dispatching rules that minimize the performance measures related to weighted flowtime and weighted tardiness of jobs. The existing unweighted dispatching rules have been modified in view of the consideration of weights for flowtime and tardiness of jobs. The performances of the (modified) existing dispatching rules and the proposed dispatching rules are compared through exhaustive simulation experiments with the consideration of a number of different experimental settings involving due-date setting, utilization levels and types of job structures. The proposed dispatching rules are found to perform better than the existing ones in most experimental settings and with respect to a number of measures of performance. © Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007.