Oral Answers to Questions — Film Industry (Dispute)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th June 1945.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke 12:00 am, 7th June 1945

asked the Minister of Labour the facts about the dispute between the Association of Cine-Technicians and George Humphries and Company; was the notice given in accordance with Section 4 of the Conditions of Employment and National Arbitration Order; and what action is it intended to take.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Arising out of a failure to agree the terms and conditions of employment of their members in the employ of members of the Film Laboratories Employers' Association, the Union ordered a general ban on overtime. Some 20 of the employees of Messrs. Humphries thereupon refused to work overtime. The firm took the view that the workpeople concerned were guilty of a breach of contract and dismissed them. I am advised that this action by the employer does not constitute a breach of Article 4 of the Conditions of Employment and National Arbitration Order, 1940. The third part of the Question does not therefore arise. I should add that the dispute as to the terms and conditions of employment of technicians employed in film laboratories has now been referred to the National Arbitration Tribunal for settlement and is therefore sub judice.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

Does that apply to all the people in the dispute?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

It applies to the major dispute, but not, from the terms of my answer, to the conditions arising out of Messrs. Humphries' action.

Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

Does the Minister consider that the firm were justified in taking the action they did against the men?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I cannot give an answer to that question.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

May I ask the Minister if anything can be done by the right hon. Gentleman's Department to speed up the hearing, so that this dispute may be settled?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Not only would I be glad to see the hearing speeded up, but I am keeping in touch, during the whole of this case, with a view to trying to reach some settlement.