§ 1. Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Labour if he has considered a letter which the National and Local Government Officers' Association recently sent him, complaining of an employer's refusal to recognise the Association as a negotiating body in a dispute where over 80 per cent. of the members of the clerical and supervisory staff have joined the Association; and what action he will take in response to the Association's appeal to help them resolve this dispute.
§ The Minister of Labour and National Service (Mr. Iain Macleod)
Yes, Sir, and I have arranged in the first instance for my officers to discuss the matter with representatives of the Association.
§ Mr. Swingler
Whilst thanking the Minister for that action, may I ask him whether he does not think that the workers concerned are being extraordinarily patient and restrained in view of the fact that the refusal to recognise the Association has gone on over a period of years? Will his Department take some serious action to make the employers see reason?
§ Mr. Macleod
I am meeting, or rather my representatives are meeting, representatives of the Association tomorrow, so we are moving as quickly as we can on that. With respect, I think that the last part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question goes too wide. I do not think it is right for the Minister of Labour, or within his power, to force any employer to recognise any particular association. I am, however, very glad to have these talks.