HC Deb 27 January 1981 vol 997 cc756-7
3. Mr. Neubert

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to publish the Green Paper on trade union immunities.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. James Prior)

I published the Green Paper on trade union immunities on 15 January.

Mr. Neubert

On a day that sees one out of 10 people out of work for the first time since the war, should we not remind ourselves how much of the present level of unemployment has been brought about by obstructive, shortsighted, politically motivated trade unionism and ask whether by that attitude unions have not long since forfeited their right to many of the immunities that they traditionally enjoy?

Mr. Prior

There are many factors, including industrial relations, that have contributed to the unemployment position that we face today. One of the purposes of the Green Paper on trade union immunities is to draw attention to and have a wide consultation on what can be done to improve industrial relations.

Mr. Garel-Jones

Will the Green Paper contain any provision to give trade unions immunity from any damage that may result from their being responsible for the election of the leader of the Labour Party?

Mr. Prior

Not specifically on that point, but chapter 3 deals fairly fully with the whole question of damages being awarded against a trade union for breach of contract.

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