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Medical Laboratories (Industrial Dispute)

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the dispute involving medical laboratory scientific staff.

Negotiations are still under way in the appropriate Whitley Council in an attempt to resolve this particular dispute. The management side made a revised offer this week and are waiting for a staff side response. It is irresponsible of the unions to take official industrial action while the matter is in negotiation. The staff side itself proposed a method of financing its claim and this was examined speedily by management. I see no ground for the union's complaint of delay by management.Industrial action has taken the form of restricting emergency services, which are being maintained with great difficulty. There is inevitably some risk to patient safety. This is scandalous behaviour, particularly by professional staff, and it is for the unions to justify it if they can.