asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his consultations on the future of industrial relations in the Royal dockyards and fleet support establishments, with particular reference to the arrangements for consultation with industrial and non-industrial staff.
As part of our management of the dockyards and fleet support establishments, we have been reviewing industrial relations policy within these areas. This review is proceeding and will have involved a number of consultations as well as discussions on the advisory Royal Dockyard Policy Board.As part of the consultations we held a symposium on 6th June particularly oriented towards the rôle of industrial civil servants working in these areas. With the full co-operation of the trade unions concerned, a wide cross-section of the labour force was represented, together with national, district and frontline trade union officers. On 23rd June we held a further symposium for a cross-section of junior and middle-level management and other supervisory grades at which their views as managers and supervisors were sought. There is also to be consultation with Staff Side representatives on a basis to be agreed between the Official and Staff Sides of the Ministry of Defence.During these consultations the relevance of concepts of industrial democracy to industrial activities in these establishments has been discussed in general terms. Any eventual specific proposals in this sphere will naturally only be forthcoming in the context of Government policy generally and following formal negotiations through the existing official channels.