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Unemployment Benefit (Miners, North Wigan)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that about 100 mine-workers have been thrown out of employment by the closing down of the Topyard Arley Mine, Bryn Hall Collieries, North Wigan, notice being posted by the managing director entirely on his own accord and without any consultation with the workmen or their representatives; and that some of the men were paid unemployment benefit for one week, which was then stopped owing to the statement of the colliery officials that the mine was stopped owing to a trade dispute; and whether he will have this case inquired into at once and unemployment benefit paid to these men, who are playing owing to the manager closing the mine?

I understand that claims have been made by 37 of the workers recently employed at this mine, and that these claims have been disallowed by the insurance officer on the ground that the "trade dispute" disqualification contained in Section 8 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, applies to them. It is open to the claimants to appeal against this decision to the Court of Referees, and I am informed that three of them have so appealed. Meanwhile, I have no power to authorise the payment of unemployment benefit. In a few cases benefit was paid for a short time before the information on which the disqualification was based reached the Exchange.