HC Deb 18 March 1937 vol 321 cc2233-4
13. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has anything to report on the dispute which has resulted in the general strike of motor-omnibus drivers in Scotland?

Mr. E. Brown

The position is that negotiations on the wages and conditions of employment cannot take place until work has been resumed. It is for the workpeople themselves to decide whether they wish to have their conditions settled and maintained by collective agreement between the union to which they belong and the company, and there is no useful action that I can take. I greatly regret both the inconvenience which is being caused to other workpeople and to the public generally, and the harm done to the whole system of collective agreements by the continuance of this unconstitutional stoppage of work.

Mr. Stewart

Has my right hon. Friend any knowledge when work is likely to be resumed in view of tentative reports that one sees in the Press?

Mr. Brown

I prefer to add nothing to the answer I have given.

Mr. Stephen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the disgracefully low wages that are being paid to these operators?

Mr. Kennedy

Does the Minister approve of the attitude of the employers in this case when they refuse to negotiate until work is resumed?

Mr. Brown

It is not so. The trouble is not between the unions and the company. It is because action has been taken against the advice of the leaders of the unions.

Mr. McGovern

How long have the negotiations for increases of wages been going on, and is the Minister aware that the men were compelled to take strike action?