Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Redundant Dock Workers.

40.

asked the Minister for Labour if he has been consulted regarding the plan for the reorganisation of the cross-channel section of Dublin port; and if so, how his Department can help to provide alternative employment for any dockers below retiring age who may be displaced.

41.

asked the Minister for Labour if, in view of the findings of the Murphy Report that severe redundancy among Dublin dockers will occur in the next four years, An Chomhairle Oiliúna will now begin retraining these workers so that they will be immediately able to take alternative employment as their redundancy occurs; and if he will give an undertaking that such courses will be started immediately.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 41 together.

I was not consulted about the plan of reorganisation referred to which is based on a survey commissioned by private interests. The person who carried out the survey did, however, have talks with my Department on matters on which he required information.

Regarding the questions of retraining and alternative employment, the position is that An Chomhairle Oiliúna will be prepared to consider providing suitable courses as the necessity arises and the Employment Service of my Department will give all possible assistance in finding alternative employment for any of the men who become redundant.

I presume full consultation will be held with the unions who have docker members?

The report is being considered by the employers and the unions, and any action to be taken by An Chomhairle Oiliúna or my Department would depend on agreement between the unions and the employers as to the acceptance of the Murphy Report and to certain points about releasing people for training when more precise information is ready. Therefore, it is a matter between the unions and employers.

When will An Chomhairle Oiliúna be operational?

They are operational. They intend to have a scheme going at Shannon Airport.

Is there one at present?

I would have to have notice of that. An Chomhairle Oiliúna is composed of trade unions, employers and educational interests, and if the Deputy is not satisfied he should consult with his own union in the matter.

The Minister should not pass the buck. He is the Minister for Labour.

Yes, but when the Deputy points a finger at me like a lawyer in an American movie, I say: Go back and get your own house in order.

Passing the buck again.

I am not taking the bucks you own.