HC Deb 08 March 1920 vol 126 cc948-9W

asked the Minister of Labour if the Poplar Borough Council insist that all their employés must join a, trade union or sacrifice a considerable amount of war bonus; has he received any protest from the workpeople; has his attention been called to the case, heard at the Bow County Court, where a watchman, who for many years had been employed by the Poplar Council, sued the council unsuccessfully for war bonus withheld for the reason that he refused to join any union; and does he propose to take steps to stop this practice?


I understand that the Poplar Borough Council extended a wages increase to certain of their employés on condition that they joined a trade union. I have not received a protest from the men concerned, but there is a somewhat similar dispute affecting certain grades of electrical workers who have reported their case to me. I have seen reports in the public Press about the watchman who claimed the bonus, although he did not join a trade union I understand that leave to appeal has been granted. The case of the electrical workers is, I understand, being discussed by the Joint Board set up to consider disputes arising between workmen of the class affected and their employers. The borough council is affiliated to this board through its municipal electricity undertaking. On the general question, victimisation of men who do not join unions is just as much to be deprecated as victimisation of men who are members of such organisations, but I have no power to take any effective steps in either case.