HC Deb 24 June 1974 vol 875 cc984-5
41. Mr. Tomlinson

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he is satisfied with the state of industrial relations in Her Majesty's Stationery Office, and if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the various rates paid to printing staff with known comparisons in private printing works.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

HMSO's industrial relations compare reasonably with those of similar organisations in the printing and print distribution industries generally. There is insufficient information to make conclusive comparisons on wages of printing staff; but HMSO has recently offered the unions concerned an independent investigation into the question.

Mr. Tomlinson

Is my hon. Friend prepared to make a statement about resignation of industrial relations staff from HMSO recently and at the same time make a statement about the present dispute in the Stationery Office?

Mr. Sheldon

The printing troubles of HMSO are not new. We have seen them from time to time over the past few years. My hon. Friend and the House generally should bear in mind that the position of HMSO is no worse than that of other printers, especially when one bears in mind the large amount of printing work in the London area.

As to the resignation of certain people on the industrial relations staff, there have been a number of resignations and one dismissal for misconduct and the assistant director will not have his engagement extended when it expires in August. This is as a result of the happenings of last autumn. Both officers have appealed to the Civil Service Appeal Board, which upheld the Stationery Office decisions.

Mr. Adley

Will the hon. Gentleman list those unions, in addition to the printing union, which appear already to have exempted themselves from the social compact?

Mr. Sheldon

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend.