Orders of the Day — Industrial Relations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st November 1972.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Reginald Prentice Mr Reginald Prentice , East Ham North 12:00 am, 1st November 1972

We are concerned with the rights of all individuals. We are concerned with the rights of individuals who suffered through a totally unnecessary docks strike. We are concerned with the rights of individuals who were laid off as a result of that strike. I believe that the law should provide for the rights of individuals. We are saying that the Industrial Relations Act is the wrong kind of instrument, because it provides procedures and rulings by which a localised argument can escalate into a national crisis.

The Midland Cold Storage dispute was an excellent example of the rights of a few dozen individuals at one cold store in East London. We need a procedure for settling matters of that kind, but not in a way which will create a national docks strike almost by accident. Apart from the trouble caused by that case, it did not solve the problem of Midland Cold Storage, because the argument still goes on. So the Act is not an efficient instrument and the court itself is not efficient for settling the immediate problems to which the Minister drew attention, apart from the damage done as an indirect result.