Works Councils.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 26th February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

asked the Minister of Labour whether it is his policy to encourage production inquiry committees to be set up as sub-committees of works councils?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on this subject to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. Ellis Smith) on 19th February. Those who set up works councils are the best judges as to which of their functions, if any, can be most appropriately performed by sub-committees.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he has discussed this matter with representatives of employers' organisations and with the T.U.C., and whether he is satisfied with the response he has received from both bodies?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I have discussed it with both sides, but I must point out that most of these negotiations are not conducted with the T.U.C. The arrangements have to be made direct between the unions responsible for the wage negotiations and the industry concerned.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

Will the Minister see that when these production committees are set up the men's side have at least as much power as the other side, because the other people have the idea that the men's place ought to be under the table?

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in connection with the setting up of joint consultative machinery in the form of works councils, it is the policy of the Government that these should be based on trade union membership in all cases?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The policy of the Government in this matter is to encourage the most effective methods of joint consultation. In my view, the question of the precise form of machinery to be set up to ensure that consultation, is best left to the representatives of employers and workers to decide by mutual agreement.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

In cases where, unfortunately, the men are not in a union, or where only a portion of them are in a union, what steps are taken? I am asking only for information.

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I know of very few industries now in which some of the men are not in a union. It has to be remembered, and I would emphasise the point, that if these shop committees are to be effective, then they must have some discipline through executives of unions, or they may cut right across a general agreement and cause industrial disputes.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Do I understand that it is not intended that these committees should be set up in non-union works?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I have not suggested that.