Trade Union Recognition

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th January 2001.

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Photo of Mrs Helen Liddell Mrs Helen Liddell Minister of State (Science, Energy and Industry), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Energy and Competitiveness in Europe) 12:00 am, 18th January 2001

My hon. Friend is absolutely correct. He was a very active member of the Standing Committee that considered the legislation and he knows that it aims to bring stability to collective bargaining. Not only do the Tories want to return to boom and bust, but they want to return to the them-and-us situation of the 1980s and 1990s which plunged the country into industrial unrest. The aim of the new procedure is voluntary engagement, and, as my hon. Friend pointed out, the TUC report published on Monday shows that there have been a record number of recognition deals—159 covering 58,000 workers in the 13 months from November 1999 to November 2000. That is a sign of consensus and of a voluntary approach to these matters. Stability has returned to industrial relations.