HC Deb 22 May 1978 vol 950 cc1092-3
4. Mr. Palmer

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the recognition of trade unions for collective bargaining purposes under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act, stating which unions, either at national or local level, have been recognised, the grades of employees covered in each case, the date when the agreement was made, and the grades of employees in each industry as yet not covered by agreements but where recognition has been sought, either for all employees or for members of particular trade unions.

The Under-Secretary of State for Industry (Mr. Les Huckfield)

The recognition of trade unions is a matter for British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders.

Mr. Palmer

That is excellent advice—that it is ultimately a matter for the boards of the industries concerned. However, may I take it that that is subject to the ever-ready advice of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service?

Mr. Huckfield

I take careful note of my hon. Friend's kind remarks. He is of course right. I should add that my right hon. Friend has no power to issue directions on this matter.

Mr. Warren

What has happened to all the promises given by the Government about industrial democracy throughout the debates on the Bill which nationalised these industries? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that throughout the aerospace industry the shop floor is shocked that it is not being consulted on any future projects and that it feels that it is neglected by the Government that it put in power?

Mr. Huckfield

The hon. Gentleman is a bit out of date. We have already received one report on industrial democracy, on 6th December, which was placed before the House. My right hon. Friend expects the second report before 30th June.