HC Deb 11 May 1960 vol 623 cc63-4W
Mr. Woollam

asked the Minister of Labour if he will consider making the statistics of working time lost in industrial disputes more comprehensive by including all stoppages, whatever their size and duration, and also by including time lost by workers in other establishments as a result of these stoppages.

Mr. Heath

The policy for many years has been to exclude from the published statistics stoppages involving fewer than ten workers or lasting less than one day (unless in either case the aggregate number of working days lost exceeds 100). To include these stoppages would involve a great deal of extra work both for employers and for the Ministry of Labour staff. I doubt if this would be justified, especially since comparability with previous periods would not be possible.

As regards time lost by workers affected by stoppages, it is important to avoid confusion between figures of those who are directly and indirectly involved in a stoppage of work due to an industrial dispute at the establishment concerned, and of those who are affected at other establishments as a result of the dispute. It is, in any case, not practicable to produce accurate figures of the latter. I propose, however, to include in annual surveys of industrial disputes for 1960 and subsequently, a rough estimate of time lost by those thrown out of work at other establishments in the motor manufacturing industry, and I am considering what further information can be provided about the effects of individual major stoppages in this industry.