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Industrial Disputes

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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72.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement on the number a days lost through industrial action affecting his Department in the current year to date.

A total of 2,211 man-days have been lost through industrial action by staff in the Civil Service Department during this year.

In view of those figures, will my hon. Friend seek to take action to obtain no-strike agreements in current wage negotiations with public service unions?

I should very much like to obtain no-strike agreements throughout the Civil Service, and indeed throughout the public sector. However, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) pointed out at an earlier Question Time, there are great practical difficulties in achieving that.

Will the hon. Gentleman note that the figures presented to us for the period between January and May and May and October of this year show that there has been a terrific upsurge in the number of strikes during the period of office of the Tory Government? Can he give an answer to that?

I should be very surprised if that were true in the Civil Service. The strikes in the Civil Service this year in February, March and April were, I should have thought, the overwhelming bulk, but I shall check the figures and write to the hon. Gentleman.