Women (Wage Rates)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th February 1951.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 20th February 1951

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will ask the unions and employers if, during the meetings which he has requested them to hold to consider the position of women in industry, they will discuss the application of the rate for the job in industry, particularly in view of the need for women recruits to help with the defence programme.

Mr. Lee:

In any discussions between representatives of workers and employers regarding the employment of women, questions of wage rates must be settled by the appropriate wage negotiating procedures set up by each industry.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

Is that answer a variation of the usual stone-walling tactic on this matter or may it be taken as a sign that we are at least to have this question considered?

Mr. Lee:

Interpretations are always dangerous in these matters.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon East

Was it the lack of the rate for the job which led 200 foundry men to walk out because one woman had walked in?

Photo of Mr George Craddock Mr George Craddock , Bradford South

As the rate for the job is paid in the higher grades of professional service, irrespective of sex, does not the Minister think that the time had come when this principle should be extended to the lower grades and to those in industry?

Photo of Mr Angus Maude Mr Angus Maude , Ealing South

Arising from the original Question and reply, is the Minister aware that the Government can do nothing whatever about enforcing the rate for the job in industry until they are prepared to enforce it in their own Government employment?