§ 22. Mr. R. W. Elliott
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that a trade dispute between the Heating and Domestic Engineers' Union and the Plumbing Trades' Union is causing delay in the installation and renewal of heating in schools and colleges in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and what steps he is taking to resolve the dispute.
§ Mr. Gunter
Yes. My officers have held meetings with the parties. Unfortunately, these did not result in a settlement. Since then, however, the executives of the two unions have met and I am hopeful that, as a result of their efforts, this dispute will soon be brought to an end. My officers will continue to keep in close touch with the situation.
§ Mr. Elliott
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as a result of this 1053 unfortunate inter-union dispute, there is now a serious threat to the educational work of the City of Newcastle? Is he aware that this unfortunate dispute on a demarcation point has been dragging on for no less than three months and that, in addition to holding up the installation of heating systems in new educational establishments, in old educational establishments where the heating system was due to be renewed in midsummer the renewal has not yet been done? Will he use his every energy to bring this ridiculous situation to an end?
§ Mr. Gunter
Yes, Sir. As the hon. Gentleman knows, at this stage the general secretaries of the two unions concerned are doing all they possibly can to reconcile the differences at local level.
§ Mr. Popplewell
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the district committee will be meeting on 15th December in connection with this dispute? May we be assured that, if it does not accept the respective national executive committees' findings, my right hon. Friend will use his good offices as speedily as possible after the decision on that date is known, as this regrettable dispute has lasted so long and is holding back educational building needed in the city?