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Requirement of Postal Ballot for Certain Ballots and Elections

Part of Orders of the Day — Employment Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 10th February 1988.

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Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield 4:45 pm, 10th February 1988

I will be very brief and ask a question. Is the Minister aware that not many days ago there was an election for the president of the National Union of Mineworkers? In Nottingham, British Coal—the employer — recognises only the other union, the Union of Democratic Mineworkers.

In years gone by, my experience has been that, when a ballot took place, facilities were provided at the workplace —the pit. In the presidential election, members of the NUM were denied that facility. They were told to take their ballot box on to the street and to ballot there. That is what happened.

I want to refer to the point raised by the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South-West (Mr. Madel) about postal ballots and ballot papers going to the employer. Bearing in mind what I have just said about the management not co-operating with NUM members in the recent ballot for the NUM president, if the Minister's answer to the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South-West is yes, can he assure us that there will be fair play for those NUM members in Nottinghamshire in future?