§ Mr. Kirby
asked the Minister of Labour (1), whether he is aware that a dispute exists between the National Coal Board and the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union, due to the failure of the Board to establish negotiating machinery; that the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union is taking a ballot of its colliery members on a withdrawal of labour in the industry; and whether he will take immediate steps to avert the threatened stoppage;
(2), whether he is aware that, as a result of the failure of the National Coal Board to set up appropriate machinery under Section 46 of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, 1946, for the establishment of wages and conditions in the industry, a dispute exists between the Board and the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union which may lead to a stoppage of work; and whether he will instruct the Board to operate Section 46 as far as clerical and administrative employees are concerned, in consultation with the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union, which has been acknowledged by the Board as an appropriate union under Section 46 of the Act.
§ Mr. Isaacs
I am aware of the attitude of the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union in regard to the difficulties attendant on the establishment of negotiating machinery in respect of colliery clerical and administrative staffs. These difficulties have arisen from the lack of a mutual understanding between various unions purporting to represent the grades concerned, and I understand that the' National Coal Board are ready and anxious to see appropriate joint machinery established as soon as these differences are resolved. My Department is maintaining close touch with the situation.