HC Deb 30 September 1915 vol 74 cc983-4
10. Mr. PRATT

asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been called to the action of Messrs. Armstrong, Whitworth and Company, Manchester, in dismissing 151 of their employés without notice and refusing to grant them release certificates, thus making it impossible for them to obtain employment elsewhere; whether the workmen appealed to the Ministry of Munitions for redress; and what action, if any, has been taken in the matter?


My right hon. Friend's attention has been called to the dismissal of the men in question. The firm stated that the ground of the dismissal was that there was no further work for the men, and that no notice is customarily given on this class of work. The firm, however, on representations from the union, allowed such men as had not already found employment elsewhere, to return for one week. Communications took place between the Ministry of Munitions and the company, and the question formed the subject of arbitration before the Chief Industrial Commissioner. Ultimately the company allowed pay up to a month to any men who remained out of employment for so long—a payment in excess of the recommendations of the arbitrator. As regards the general question of the issue of release certificates, I may point out that it is always open to a workman to whom a certificate is refused to appeal to a munitions tribunal. My right hon. Friend has, however, also called the attention of all employers to the importance of giving release certificates in all cases in which they dismiss men.


Can the hon. Gentleman give instructions to the employers that they must grant these release certificates to discharged men? Surely this is penalising a man.


I think what my right hon. Friend has done will meet the case in future.