HC Deb 25 March 1968 vol 761 cc884-5
5. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Labour how many United States-owned firms operating in Scotland refuse to recognise trade unions; and what steps he intends to take to encourage these firms to conform to the generally accepted practices of British industry.

Mr. Gunter

No precise information is available about the number of firms, whether American-owned or otherwise, that do not recognise trade unions. My industrial relations officers are very ready to help resolve differences between employers and unions about recognition.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not my right hon. Friend regard it as regrettable that the Ministry does not have this information? Will he seek to get it? Does not he recognise that American firms in general do not recognise trade unions and seek to contract out of this obligation by paying slightly above the trade union rate?

Mr. Gunter

We have never compiled that information either about British-owned or about American-owned firms. It is always regrettable to me when trade unions are not recognised if the workers want them recognised. I should like to say, however, that I find no difference in attitude between American and British employers here. They are either good or bad or half way between the two. In my dealings with American firms here, I have found no indication that they are more awkward than some British firms.

Sir J. Gilmour

Is it not the case that many American-owned firms, through plant bargaining, pay higher wages than United Kingdom firms?

Mr. Gunter

That is true.

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