HC Deb 07 February 1956 vol 548 cc1501-2
48. Mr. Mellish

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a dispute has arisen between Royal Dutch Air Lines and Pan American Airways and their British employees at London Airport because of these companies' refusal to allow the men to belong to a trade union in accordance with normal British practice; and whether he will intervene with a view to settling the dispute.

The Minister of Labour and National Service (Mr. Iain Macleod)

I have not been officially informed of a dispute between Royal Dutch Airlines and their British employees at London Airport. As regards Pan American Airways, I am aware that the National Association of Clerical and Supervisory Staffs are seeking recognition in respect of clerical staff employed by the Company at London Airport. The union have reported under the Industrial Disputes Order a dispute with Pan American Airways about payment for Sunday work and action is proceeding on that report.

Mr. Mellish

This is a very sad story of two foreign companies using our British airport and refusing to allow British employees to join their own appropriate trade union and one which calls for strong action on the part of the Ministry of Labour. Therefore, may 1 ask the Minister if he will take this matter seriously, because it may result in B.O.A.C. staffs being involved?

Mr. Macleod

As the the hon. Gentleman knows, my predecessor was in touch over this matter some time after last September. I would not. have thought that the supplementary question wholly sets out the position, but if there is anything helpful I can do, I shall be glad to do it.

Mr. Farey-Jones

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is a matter of peculiar importance and will he give due consideration to the fact that up to now the international airlines using London Airport have tried consistently to fulfil their obligations under the International Statute? Will he also, before further considering this matter, take the advice of the Director-General of the International Transport Association on this important issue?

Mr. Macleod

This matter is essentially one in the first place for the employers and the unions. If I can help, I shall be glad to do so, but the only matter that is officially before me at the moment is the question of payment for Sunday work, and that has been reported under the Industrial Disputes Order.

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