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Preston (Unemployment)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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8.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current rate of unemployment in the Preston travel-to-work area.

At 14 February, the unemployment rate in the Preston travel-to-work area was 5ยท6 per cent.

May I thank my hon. Friend for the interest and concern that he showed on his recent visit to Preston? Has he any advice for those trade unionists in Preston who will be ordered to go on strike on 14 May rather than to travel to work?

It would be a dangerous precedent for any Minister from my Department to give advice to people who operate within trade union circles. I doubt whether they would appreciate such advice. However, I take heart from what I have seen recently in ballots within trade unions which show that common sense and justice are the interests uppermost in the minds of most trade unionists.