§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take steps to deal with the substantial overmanning in British docks.
§ Mr. Waddington
The National Dock Labour Board has a statutory responsibility for determining and keeping under review the numbers of registered dock workers. My Department has continued to make funds available by way of loans to the board to assist in securing severances under the industry's national voluntary severance scheme. I understand that the national joint council for the industry will shortly be considering a claim by the union side for increased severance payments. Other manning issues, including the numbers of non-registered employees, are primarily a matter for port employers and trade unions.