§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has had discussions with representatives of the trade union movement regarding the linking of trade union immunities in the essential services to the observance of dispute procedures; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
My right hon. Friend and I have had no such discussions to date. The provisions of the Trade Union Act which make it a condition of immunity that trade unions do not organise industrial action in any circumstances without first holding a ballot have been in force only since 26 September. We shall be considering what further steps might usefully be taken to deal with the special problems of industrial action in essential services.