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National Union Of Bank Employees

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Labour whether his Department has had further recent discussions with the joint stock banks about the recognition of the National Union of Bank Employees.

Following my talks with the Chairman of the Committee of London Clearing Bankers some months ago, I wrote to the T.U.C. giving it the views the banks had conveyed to me. I have had no further talks since then.

Does not the Minister agree that it is intolerable that in the second half of the twentieth century the banks of this country should refuse their employees the right to negotiate through the union of their choice? What is the use of setting up a National Planning Council representing both sides of industry when such enclaves of feudalism still exist so far as trade unions are concerned, and what does the Minister propose to do about it?

I have explained to the T.U.C. that I have no power, as Minister of Labour—no Minister of Labour whether in a Conservative or a Labour Government has ever had the power—to compel the recognition of any particular union. I have told the T.U.C. that if it thought that it would help, I would gladly arrange for my officials to have further talks with the officials of the union.