HC Deb 31 October 1966 vol 735 cc19-20
27. Mr. Winnick

asked the Minister of Labour what study he has made of the report published by the Industrial Society, a copy of which has been sent to him, regarding the position of manual workers in industry; and what action he will take.

Mr. Gunter

I believe that my hon. Friend is referring to the booklet called "Status and Benefits in Industry". I think that the report is a useful contribution to study of this important subject. It has been brought to the attention of my officers who advise industry on such matters.

Mr. Winnick

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the Report confirms that manual workers are placed at a great disadvantage in industry? Does not he consider it wrong that a skilled manual worker with 30 or 40 years' experience should still be considered inferior in terms of conditions, sickness pay, clocking in and out, and other matters?

Mr. Gunter

I have repeatedly said so.

Mr. J. H. Osborn

The Minister is no doubt aware that I was closely associated with those who presented this document. Does not he agree that it is something that industry and the trade unions would do better to sort out for themselves, and that it is not for the Government to do so?

Mr. Gunter

I am not unaware of the complications that exist between employers and trade unions in this matter.