HC Deb 13 December 1977 vol 941 cc257-8
9. Mr. Silvester

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received concerning the rôle of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service in recognition agreements.

Mr. Harold Walker

A number of individuals and organisations have written to me over the past few months about recognition and the rôle of ACAS. They have expressed a variety of views.

Mr. Silvester

Has not the time now come for the establishment of published criteria against which the desirability of recognition can be measured?

Mr. Walker

I am sure that ACAS works to criteria, which are referred to in the statute and which take into account such factors as the effectiveness of the organisation seeking recognition and the effect that that recognition might have on industrial relations in the company concerned.

Mr. Loyden

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the work of ACAS? For instance, is he aware of the problem at the Leyland factory at Speke, where men have now been laid off for a considerable number of weeks and where no attempt has apparently been made by management to resolve the problems? Will my hon. Friend consider seeing whether ACAS can assist?

Mr. Walker

If I understand the position correctly, the problem to which my hon. Friend referred was not one of recognition, which is what the Question specifically refers to. In general, I am indeed satisfied with the working of ACAS. Its services are available at the request of the parties in that district.