§ 4.4 pm
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg (Grantham)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the operation of a closed shop agreement within the water industry".Following Labour legislation in the 1950s, the water authorities have introduced a closed shop agreement within the industry. Membership of a designated trade union has been made a condition of employment for new employees; thus, the withdrawal of a union card exposes an employee to dismissal without redress. As a result of what has been said to me over the weekend and subsequently, it is clear that a substantial number of water authority employees in my area would like to accept the mediator's award and return to work, but they fear to exercise that right because they know that if they do so there is a substantial risk that they will be dismissed without compensation.
Such a situation is an intolerable affront to the principles of natural justice for which the House stands. The House should have the opportunity to urge upon unions and employers alike the need to give a formal undertaking that they will not bring about the dismissal of any employee who chooses to return to work and accept the mediators award.
This matter is specific because, as a result of the closed shop agreement, trade union constituents of mine are being obliged to do that which they do not wish to do. The matter is urgent because, as a result of the trade union closed shop agreement, trade union constituents of mine are suffering severe financial loss. The matter is important because the trade unions, having refused the mediator's award, are subjecting my constituents to severe and prolonged hardship.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) gave me notice before 12 o'clock midday that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the operation of a closed shop agreement within the water industry".The House has listened with concern to what the hon. Gentleman said, as I have myself, and to the exchanges earlier. However, the House knows that under Standing order No. 9 I am directed to take into account the several factors set out in the order but to give no reason for my decision.
I have to rule that the hon. Gentleman's submission does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot submit his application to the House.