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Dispute, Mansfield

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the dispute between Harwood, Cash & Company, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and the union representing the employees; and if he will endeavour to bring the two sides together with a view to ending the dispute and entering into negotiations.

Yes, Sir, I am aware of this dispute. Our officers have been in touch with the employer and the union. They will continue to do what they can to end the dispute.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this dispute has been going on since last November? In the meantime, there has been a strike, which was called off in the hope that the employers and trade union could get together, but that move has failed. Will he continue his efforts to get the two sides together, because the central problem is one of recognition?

As I have told the hon. Gentleman, we will certainly continue to do all that we can, but at the moment, as he knows, there is a certain amount of ill feeling over the strike. I hope that this can soon be dissipated and that the two sides can get together and enter into discussion of their problems.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a particularly unfortunate case of a firm not allowing the ordinary decencies of trade union recognition and discussion? Would he agree to meet my hon. Friend the Member for Mansfield (Mr. B. Taylor) and me to discuss the matter if we can be of any help?

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not wish me to take sides in this matter. I have already met his hon. Friend and have had a full discussion with him on the matter. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I am fully aware of the position.