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Trade Union Membership

Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the TUC has informed him of the date on which the TUC review body on exclusions and exemptions from union membership will come into operation.

No, but the TUC has said that it intends the independent review committee to be in operation early this year, and I understand it has been giving the matter consideration with a view to achieving this.

Does the Minister realise that many ordinary people still think it grossly unfair that the only redress against exclusion or expulsion from a trade union is an appeal to a body appointed by the TUC? Will he try to persuade the TUC to agree that there should be an appeal from this home-grown tribunal to the ordinary courts of the land? Further, will he try to get the TUC to agree that the procedure of the tribunal should be subject to the supervision and approval of the Council on Tribunals?

The appointment of the members of the tribunal will be made in consultation with the Chairman of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service and my right hon. Friend. The legislation which we are introducing and the steps that the TUC is taking to set up the tribunal in no way infringe the common law rights of people affected by exclusion or expulsion in the closed shop situation. I take the view that the majority of people will not consider this matter anything but a most reasonable and practical step in dealing with what is admitted to be an important but a small minority problem.