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Industrial Disputes (Work Stoppages)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 8 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Labour the number of working days lost in industry through strikes and disputes for the first three months of this year?

The aggregate number of working days lost in stoppages of work due to industrial disputes during the first two months of this year, so far as reported to my Department, is estimated to have been about 78,000. Corresponding figures for March are not yet available, but will be given in the April issue of the "Ministry of Labour Gazette," to be published towards the end of this month.


asked the Minister of Labour what steps he took to enforce the special powers granted to him under the Strikes Act with regard to the 1,527,000 working days lost in 1942?

Prosecutions are instituted in all suitable cases, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that indiscriminate recourse to this remedy would not be likely to be effective. I cannot condemn too strongly any attempt to settle disputes in wartime by a strike instead of using the proper negotiating machinery, but I would point out that the number of working days lost in 1942, though higher than in 1941, was far below that experienced in any of the years of the last war.

While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask whether he is taking every possible step not only by means of his statutory powers, but also by persuasion, to try and get a 100 per cent. war effort throughout the country?

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the stupidity of employers as well on some occasions?

Will my right hon. Friend bring in an Order to compel Members to attend in this House instead of elsewhere?

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the recent award to the engineering industry in this country has left marine engineers seething with discontent?