asked the Minister of Aircraft Production why, in view of the great need for aeroplanes, 1,200 men, employed at an aircraft factory of which he has been informed, were told, on Friday, 12th December, that they were not to go to work on Sunday, 14th December, in spite of a previous arrangement that they were to work on that day, Saturday being their agreed rest day for that week; why were they given no reason for this order; and why, when many of them disobeyed it and turned up to work, they were not allowed to do any though there was some they could have done?
This factory is in the process of changing over from the production of one type of aircraft to another, with its attendant disturbance of labour. Technical difficulties, which are inseparable from the production of new types, also occurred during the week-end in question. Owing to these circumstances, there was insufficient work to justify the men's attendance on the Sunday. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that the management should have taken the men's duly authorised representatives into confidence on the reasons for the temporary shortage of work, and my Ministry is constantly impressing on contractors the desirability of such consultations.
Is my right hon. and gallant Friend satisfied that all necessary steps are being taken, when there is a change-over of that kind, to see that the amount of idle time is reduced?
Has the attention of my right hon. and gallant Friend been drawn to the fact that nearly all the complaints relating to work not being available are from factories having contracts with his Department, and not with other supply Departments?