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Industrial Disputes

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 23 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received from the British Textile Employers' Association relating to the lorry drivers' strike; and if he will make a statement on his Department's assessment of the number of temporary lay-offs and the long-term loss of jobs resulting from this strike, the dispute involving the tanker drivers and the unofficial industrial action being taken by certain employees of the North-West water authority.

I received a telex message from the British Textile Employers' Association on 8 January about the effects on the industry of shortage of fuel and the road haulage strike. No precise figures are available on numbers of employees affected but the best estimate that I have is that between 175,000 and 200,000 employees have so far been laid off as a result of the road haulage dispute. It is too early to attempt an assessment of any possible long-term job losses. I am not aware that any employees are currently laid off as a result of the industrial action by tanker drivers or employees of the North-West water authority, but if there are the number is very small.