HC Deb 12 April 1965 vol 710 cc951-2
38. Mr. Bessell

asked the Minister of Labour what representations he has received from the Association of Cinematograph Television and Allied Technicians regarding the conduct of Kodak Limited towards its employees; what action he has taken; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Gunter

The General Secretary of the Association wrote to me on 8th March and one of my officers subsequently met him. I am aware of all the circumstances and I am satisfied that there is no further action which I can usefully take.

Mr. Bessell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that however good Kodak Limited may be an an employer, the fact remains that no fewer than 11,000 workers in the firm are denied normal trade union representation and that this is a source of considerable disturbance not only to the workers in the firm but to the Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians and to other people who value individual liberty to join a union of one's choice? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this matter again?

Mr. Gunter

I deplore the absence of negotiated trade union rights in Kodak.

Commander Courtney

Will the right hon. Gentleman admit that it is a fact that Kodak is such a good employer of labour that it has not been necessary for the workers to form themselves into a trade union, or to join a trade union, to represent their interests?

Mr. Gunter

The best employers in this country always encourage trade union organisation.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Has my right hon Friend's attention been drawn to a recent prosecution which showed that Kodak had entered into an agreement with a prosecution witness to pay him a sum of money for giving evidence and a further sum of money if his evidence proved satisfactory? Has he considered whether this agreement ought not to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to see whether it involves a conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice?

Mr. Gunter

I am very grateful that that is not within the purview of the Ministry of Labour. I understand that there is to be a Question on that subject to the Attorney-General later in the week.