HC Deb 10 August 1920 vol 133 c236

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the strike that is taking place among the mechanics and engineers on the railways in some parts of South Wales; and whether he will take steps to bring the parties in disspute together in order to prevent the trouble extending to other districts?


I am aware of this strike, which is due, I believe, to dissatisfaction on the part of the men concerned at their failure to secure a rate of £6 a week. I understand that the general question of the wages and conditions of employment of craftsmen employed on the railways is under discussion between the companies and the unions concerned at the present time, and that further conferences on this subject are to be held next week. The case of the men concerned in this strike, which is unofficial, was recently decided by the Industrial Court, which held that, in the circumstances described in the award, their claim was not established, and, as the strike appears to me to be in effect a strike against a decision of the Court, it is impossible for me to attempt to conciliate between the parties. I have, however, brought the matter to the notice of the Executive Committee of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, of which union these men mainly are members.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the iron and steel trade and the tinplate trade in South Wales the engineers and fitters are paid £6 per week, while these men are only paid £4 19s., and that these men live in the same streets and that their wives have to provide the same necessities of life—clothes for the children—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"]—I am asking the hon. Gentleman if he is aware—that the wives of the engineers in the trades already mentioned, who are earning £6 per week, and the wives of the engineers on the railways—[Interruption.]


Would the hon. Member please hand in his question at the Table?