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Bakery Industry

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment from which organisations he received representations, or which organisations he consulted, about the Bakery Industry (Hours of Work) Act 1954 before reaching the view that it was anomalous and unsatisfactory.

I have received representations from the National Association of Master Bakers, Confectioners and Caterers and the Federation of Bakers.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what new factors have emerged since the report of the Rees committee in 1951 which made its recommendation as embodied in the Bakery Industry (Hours of Work) Act 1954, anomalous and unsatisfactory in the opinion of his Department; and if he will make a statement.

In accordance with the hopes expressed by the Rees committee, voluntary agreements have in fact regulated night baking for many years past. Accordingly, exemption orders have been made which relieved the bakers concerned from the statutory restrictions. The agreement covering the master bakers has however been amended under pressure from the bakers' union to include a union recruitment clause which is unacceptable to the majority of master bakers. This clause has nothing to do with the purpose of the Act, and I regard it as highly anomalous and unsatisfactory that a workers' welfare Act should be capable of being used to bring pressure to bear on master bakers to observe such a clause.