HC Deb 24 June 1935 vol 303 cc796-7
28. Mr. TINKER

asked the Postmaster-General what steps his Department take to ensure that the recognised trade union conditions as to working conditions, i.e., wages and hours, are carried out by those who get the contracts to carry Post Office and telephone work?


Every Post Office contract includes a fair wages clause embodying the fair wages resolution, and every contractor has to exhibit a copy of this clause and of any recognised agreement determining wages and hours in the industry in the district in question, for the information of the workpeople concerned. Where there is reason to suppose that the terms of the fair wages clause are not complied with, full inquiry is made.


Seeing that there has been considerable trouble recently in regard to the fair wages clause not being observed, will the right hon. Gentleman give more advertisement as to the way in which information regarding this matter can be obtained?


I am much obliged to the hon. Member, and I hope that the question and answer will help to clear the matter up.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these contracts are printed in the Labour Gazette. Would not that afford an opportunity of traders to learn the terms of the contract?


That is not a matter for this Department; the contractors sign the contract to keep the fair wages clause. Sometimes difficulties are settled satisfactorily through the trade unions, and sometimes the Post Office has to intervene to get better terms. As a rule, however, it is done without our intervention.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think that a contractor who pays 4½d. an hour is observing the fair wages clause?


That question does not arise, and I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which was given at the time to that question.