HC Deb 21 November 1960 vol 630 cc766-7
53. Mr. Oliver

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the disagreement between the management and staff of the Derby Trustee Savings Bank concerning salaries and the ban now taking place on all overtime; and if he will take steps to effect an early settlement of this dispute.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Peter Thomas)

I am aware of the difficulties referred to by the hon. and learned Member. My right hon. Friend has already made the services of the officers of the Ministry available to help bring about a settlement.

Mr. Oliver

Could the hon. Gentleman say when this offer was made to bring the two parties together, having regard to the length of time that this dispute has been proceeding?

Mr. Thomas

I am afraid I cannot give the hon. and learned Member the exact date. Both parties to the dispute have been seen by the officers of the Ministry, and our officers are at present discussing the employees' difficulties with the officials of the union with a view to finding how best they can help resolve the matter.

Mr. G. Brown

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the problem seems to be that while the union is very anxious to negotiate with the bank, the bank management is saying that it cannot negotiate with the union locally because of the existence of some national body, and the national body is saying that it cannot negotiate because this is a matter of reference to local banks? Will the Minister see the bank authorities and see what can be done to get them into a frame of mind to meet the union.

Mr. Thomas

As I have said, our officials have seen both sides, bath the union representatives and also the bank representatives.

Mr. G. Brown

I apologise for repeating this. That is not the problem. The union is anxious for a meeting and it is the bank which is refusing it. In a letter to me today, the chairman said that he cannot negotiate. On the other hand, the national body says it cannot negotiate and the problem, therefore, is wholly on the employers' side. Will the hon. Gentleman get the officials to see the bank again to persuade it to enter negotiations?

Mr. Thomas

My right hon. Friend will take note of what the right hon. Member says.

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