HC Deb 22 March 1979 vol 964 c740W
Mr. Brotherton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the working of the Trade Union Act 1913 with regard to its provisions for the non-payment of the political levy; and if he will ask the certification officer for trades unions and employers associations to investigate whether the provisions of that Act are operating satisfactorily in the National Union of Public Employees, the National Union of General and Municipal Workers, the Transport and General Workers Union, the Union of Post Office Workers, the National Union of Railwaymen, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers and the Confederation of Health Service Employees.

Mr. Harold Walker

To date the annual reports of the certification officer—who is responsible for the administration of the Trade Union Act 1913 as amended—have not given any indication that there is cause to doubt that the Act is operating satisfactorily. The Act provides that any trade union member who alleges that he is aggrieved by a breach of a political fund rule made by his union under the provisions of the Act may complain to the certification officer, who has powers to deal with and remedy such complaints where necessary. The Act does not, however, make provision for general investigation or for dealing with allegations concerning political funds save by members of the union concerned.

Mr. Bulmer

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the research commissioned by his Department—2654—into the operation of the closed shop will include an analysis of union rule books, in particular to ascertain whether they offer fair and reasonable conditions to individuals for whom membership of the union in question was not a matter of choice.

Mr. Harold Walker

The research commissioned by my Department will look at the current extent and operation of the closed shop. It is intended that an examination of the relevant union rules will be undertaken as part of this research.