HC Deb 01 December 1955 vol 546 cc2485-6
18. Mr. Hobson

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the strike at Messrs. Bedford, Keighley, Yorkshire, which has been in progress for six weeks.

Sir W. Monckton

Four men employed by this firm were dismissed on 6th October, and on the following day the remaining 36 employees withdrew their labour in protest. I understand that the dispute arises from the question of trade union recognition, and the conciliation officer at Leeds has endeavoured repeatedly to arrange a joint meeting between the employer and the officials of the trade union concerned. The employer is, however, unwilling to attend such a meeting.

As the hon. Member is aware, the position was discussed with national officers of the union at the Ministry's headquarters last Tuesday.

Mr. Hobson

Is any further pressure being put on this reactionary firm which refuses to recognise trade unions? Is the Minister aware that, as a result of the firm paying lower wages than are paid in Leicester, there is danger of this dispute spreading?

Sir W. Monckton

As to the dispute generally and as to what has been happening, I should point out that I have no power to insist upon the employment of trade union workers only. Such influence as we have to bring about a meeting we shall continue to use.