HC Deb 26 July 1965 vol 717 cc25-6
32. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Minister of Labour how many working hours have been lost, in 1964 and this year to date, respectively, by men on strike in the Scottish motor industry; and how many hours have been lost by men laid off in consequence of these strikes.

Mr. Thornton

The numbers of days lost in 1964 and in the first six months of 1965 by workers directly involved in strikes in the Scottish motor industry were about 9,000 and about 11,000, respectively. The corresponding figures for workers made idle at the establishments where the stoppages occurred who were not themselves parties to the dispute were about 7,000 and about 30,000 days, respectively. Precise information about the number of days lost at other establishments is not available, but it is estimated that about 12,000 days were lost in the first six months of 1965. The loss of time in 1964 at other establishments is thought to be negligible.

Mr. Taylor

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that while these figures are no worse than for the motor industry generally, the figures for the first six months of 1965 in Scotland are rather alarming? Will the hon. Gentleman examine the figures and try to find the causes of this disruption, particularly in view of the importance of the motor industry to Scotland's development?

Mr. Thornton

Unofficial strikes of this kind are an indication of a poor standard of industrial relations. We hope that those relations will be improved. The services of our Department are always readily available to help to secure improvement in labour relations.

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Boys 103,004 114,729 121,517 101,708 114,492
Girls 19,951 20,547 21,243 15,361 16,863
Boys 10,733 12,606 14,077 12,344 13,805
Girls 1,910 1,997 1,779 1,291 1,406
Mr. Ronald Bell

To what does the Parliamentary Secretary ascribe the fact that they seem to be worse this year than last year?

Mr. Thornton

I would point out to the hon. Member that they were worse again in 1962.

Mr. Bence

While deprecating un-official strikes or any loss of man hours because of industrial friction, may I ask whether my hon. Friend is aware that there is far more co-operation between workers and managements in the motor industry and much more co-operative endeavour than friction which leads to industrial disputes?

Mr. Thornton

That is one thing that we should keep in mind. The absence of strikes is not news but strikes are headline news.

Mr. John Page

Can the Minister explain what he means by "unofficial strikes"?

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