§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether he will make a further statement about the industrial dispute between the Co-operative Insurance Society Limited and its agents.
§ Mr. Bryan
Members of the C.I.S. Agents Branch of U.S.D.A.W. have been on official strike since 11th June in support of a claim for a £3 a week agency expense allowance. On learning of this dispute conciliation officers of my Department in Manchester approached the Union and the Society and, as a result, a joint meeting was held on 29th June under Departmental chairmanship. The meeting was adjourned for both sides to consider their positions in the light of views exchanged at this meeting.
In the meantime my officers have maintained close contact with both parties and the T.U.C. has seen both sides separately. Talks took place on 22nd July between representatives of the two sides and a further meeting has been arranged for 24th July. My officers will be available to assist the parties at this meeting if required.