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Trade Dispute, Acton

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the action of Messrs. Adrema, Limited, East Acton, in dismissing five employees for distributing leaflets adjacent to the exhibition of the firm's goods at the British Industries Fair, drawing attention to the existence of a trade dispute at the firm's factory; and whether he has yet been asked to intervene in the strike which has consequently arisen.

I am aware of this incident. There is adequate negotiating machinery in the engineering industry to deal with such matters.

Is the Minister aware that this dispute originated with the interference of the Engineering and Allied Employers' Federation, which appears to have insisted that three men should not be reinstated at the end of the fuel and power crisis, and in view of the strike-fomenting activities of this association, is there anything that can be done to avoid incidents of this character arising as a consequence?

My hon. Friend refers to interference by some outside organisation. I would like to impress on the House very sincerely that interference by Members of Parliament against the action of trade unions encourages unofficial strikes and does not help to stop them.

Is the Minister bearing in mind that the underlying cause of this strike is apparently the design of the firm to victimise certain employees—using the fuel crisis as a basis—by refusing to reemploy them?

Should that be so, then those men have a proper line of approach, and should take the matter before their trade union. Ignoring and side-stepping their unions and getting the matter raised on the Floor of the House does not help, but injures their case.