HC Deb 21 May 1962 vol 660 c8
6. Sir Richard Pilkington

asked the Minister of Labour how many work days were lost in 1961 from unofficial strikes, and how many from official strikes.

Mr. Hare

There are difficulies in defining and classifying strikes as official and unofficial. About 3 million days were lost in 1961 through all the strikes reported to my Department. Of these, about 860,000 days were lost through strikes which were definitely stated to be official.

Sir Richard Pilkington

Does my right hon. Friend consider that the unofficial strikes are due more to Communist strength or to trade union weakness?

Mr. Hare

I think that both sides of industry condemn unofficial strikes. They have increasingly done so and shown so by action. I am sorry that I cannot answer my hon. Friend's question more specifically. Some strikes start as unofficial and end as official. Some are "official" only when they are over. Some are official at district level and are repudiated at headquarters. It is difficult to give the break-down.

Mr. Gunter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say from his analysis of un-official strikes, which we all deplore, how many can be directly attributed to bad managements whose knowledge of channels of communication which the workers seems so limited?

Mr. Hare

I do not think that any of us in this House want to make political issues out of this matter. I think that in some oases the management has been shown to be responsible. In other cases irresponsible conduct on the part of certain trade union members has been the cause. What we want to obtain is a real acknowledgement of this fact by both sides of industry and an effort to eliminate it.