Minority Unions (Disciplinary Machinery)

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort – in the House of Commons on 10th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that members of minority unions in industries to which, since they have disciplinary machinery of their own, the machinery for determining on dismissals provided by the Essential Work Order does not apply; are denied the use of the disciplinary machinery of the industries concerned while being also deprived of the rights of appeal provided by the Essential Work Order; and whether he will take steps to see that they are given the benefit of one or the other?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No, Sir," and the second part does not therefore arise.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Is not the Minister aware that what I have said in the first part of the Question does apply within the area of the London transport industry and in the case of the railways, and will he not look further into the matter?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

As I understand it, in both cases the men are covered by agreements within the industry.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Is the Minister aware that those agreements do not cover men who are members of minority unions, and therefore the first part of my Question is absolutely correct?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The question of what is a minority union is not one for me to decide. In some cases minority unions may consist of a small number of skilled men; in other cases they may be break-away unions.