Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Claim of Board of Works Employees.

49.

asked the Minister for Finance what is the present position regarding the claim for increased wages, service-pay and extra holidays lodged by the trade unions for Office of Public Works employees.

I presume the Deputy is referring to claims on behalf of certain employees on drainage schemes. The Commissioners of Public Works will communicate with the trade unions concerned regarding these claims at a very early date.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that several months ago discussions took place between the trade unions and the representatives of the Office of Public Works and that after a considerable delay an offer of 15s per week increase to employees on schemes was offered, on certain conditions, by the Office of Public Works? An offer of a further discussion, with the proviso that no further increase would be offered, was made by the Office of Public Works, but since then nothing has been heard of that. Will the Parliamentary Secretary agree that this is a very bad example to private enterprise in the field of labour relations?

I agree that the negotiations in this case have been rather protracted, but, as I told the Deputy in my reply, we will be getting in touch with the unions at a very early date.

The Parliamentary Secretary will remember that four weeks ago he gave me the same answer, that the matter was under consideration and that an early communication would be received by the trade unions. Will the Parliamentary Secretary personally see to it that the offer is now made?

I can assure the Deputy there will be no delay.