§ 8. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the statutory requirements presently relating to employers' recognition of trade unions.
§ Mr. Forth
The last Labour Government's compulsory recognition law was objectionable in principle and unworkable in practice. It was repealed in 1980 following representations from the independent Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. As a result, employers are now free to decide for themselves, in the light of their own particular circumstances and the needs of their business, whether to recognise a trade union, or any particular trade union.
§ Mr. Brown
I am glad to hear that reply. Is my hon. Friend aware of a recent document from the Trades Union Congress which shows that if a single shop steward on a shop floor decides that 40 per cent. of the employees want to have a trade union recognised, on his word it should be recognised? I hope that my hon. Friend can give the absolute assurance that that will be totally resisted because it would result in complete ill will and anarchy on the shop floor.
§ Mr. Forth
My hon. Friend illustrates very well the extent to which the TUC simply wants to turn back the clock and the extent to which the Labour party is in the clutches of the trade union movement. I think that I can give my hon. Friend an absolute assurance that there will be no turning back on this issue.