§ Mr. O'Halloran
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the meeting held by the EEC Council of Ministers (Labour and Social Affairs) on 29th June 1978 at which Her Majesty's Government were represented.
§ Mr. John Grant
I represented the United Kingdom Government at the meeting of the EEC Council of Ministers (Labour and Social Affairs) on 28th June. The council agreed a resolution on an action programme on safety and health at work and called for a number of measures in this area to be taken within the four-year period to the end of 1982. It also agreed a directive to protect the health of workers exposed to vinyl chloride monomer.
The council considered the Commission's proposals for a new category of aid under the European Social Fund to promote employment of young people through support for recruitment subsidies and job creation programmes. Although aspects of the proposals gave difficulties for most member-states, the great majority of delegations including the United Kingdom were able to accept a compromise proposed by the Danish presidency. I was very disappointed that the compromise was not acceptable to all delegations and in the end it was not possible to reach final agreement.162W
The presidency will report the outcome to the Heads of Government meeting in Bremen on 6th July.
In a statement on present Commission programmes, Commissioner Vredeling gave a progress report on preparations for the tripartite conference to be held in the autumn, an account of the Commission's present examination of ways to alleviate adverse employment effects of measures for industrial restructuring and a statement on progress on setting up the European Trades Union Institute.
The Danish delegation placed before the council the question of the conduct of a company during an industrial dispute in Denmark. The council considered the question in relation to the freedom of movement for workers provided for in Article 48 et seq of the Treaty of Rome. In its conclusions the council drew attention to the declaration adopted by the governing body of the International Labour Organisation on 16th November 1977 that enterprises should not transfer workers from affiliates in foreign countries with a view to undermining bona fide negotiations with workers' representatives or the workers' exercise of their right to organise.