Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 4 Dec 1946

Vol. 103 No. 13

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sugar Factories Strike.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether, in view of the serious results to industries, workers, farmers and the community generally, of the strike at the sugar beet factories, he will state what steps, if any, he has taken or proposes to take to bring about a settlement of the strike.

The functions formerly exercised by the Department of Industry and Commerce, in regard to conciliation in trade disputes, have been transferred to the Labour Court, following the coming into force of the Industrial Relations Act. This Act provides adequate means for the settlement of such disputes. Under the auspices of the Labour Court, an agreement was made between Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann, Teo. and the trade unions of which the sugar factory workers are members. It is a first principle for the settlement of rates of wages and conditions of employment, by negotiated agreements, that such agreements should be honoured. There can be no intervention on behalf of workers who strike in repudiation of agreements made by the trade unions of which they are members. If this principle is accepted by the sugar-factory workers who are on strike, there is no reason why the claims of the men cannot be amicably settled, without delay, by negotiation between the company and the trade unions concerned or through the medium of the Labour Court.

In view of the very serious situation which is likely to arise in this country in the event of the continuance of the strike does the Minister, as Minister for Industry and Commerce, propose to take no action by way of intervention to prevent other industries which are dependent on the sugar industry and which will——

The Deputy is making a speech.

Would the Minister not consider it wise personally to convene a conference with we shall say, the Archbishop of Tuam, the Archbishop of Cashel, probably the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, some high churchman from Mallow and other representatives in view of the very great influence and interest which these churchmen have shown——

The Deputy is making a speech.

I am asking the Minister would he consider calling a conference of all concerned with a view to bringing to an immediate end the present disastrous state of affairs?

Would the Deputy not call in the Dean of Canterbury as well as those he has already mentioned?

I have nothing to add to the reply I have given.

I propose to raise this matter on the adjournment.

I shall consider that.

I have no responsibility.

The Minister states that he has no responsibility in the matter. A matter raised on the adjournment must be a matter in which a Minister has responsibility.