HC Deb 31 October 1966 vol 735 cc12-3
18. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour what were the weekly gross wages of the Daily Mirror employees whose unofficial strike lost the newspaper 3,000,000 circulation; what hours they worked; what fringe benefits they enjoyed; what steps he takes to make labour available for the newspaper industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gunter

The detailed information asked for is not available, but average weekly earnings for adult male workers in the printing industry were £28 6s. 1d. in April, 1966, and average weekly hours were 44.8.

The employment services of my Ministry are available, but the majority of engagements in this industry are made through the trade unions.

I am happy to note that the industry has resolved this dispute through its own machinery.

Sir C. Osborne

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there are a lot of low-paid workers who would be jolly glad to get £28 a week in this better-paid and protected industry? Why does he not draft some of the lower-paid workers into these highly privileged jobs?

Mr. Gunter

We have had enough trouble about drafting already. I am sure that there are millions of lower-paid workers who would very much welcome £28 a week.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the wages of any of the ten top newspaper directors exceeds £28 a week, and if so, by how much?

Mr. Gunter

I could not answer the latter part of my hon. Friend's question, but I should not think that there are any who get less than £28.