Written Answers. - Department Industrial Unrest.

383.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will make a statement on the industrial unrest in his Department.

I assume that the question has reference to industrial action by the Irish Post Office Engineering Union. I made a statement on some aspects of it during the Adjournment Debate on Wednesday, 2nd November, 1977. Since then the executive council of the union undertook that their members would cease industrial action and carry out instructions in accordance with the arrangements for a return to work formulated during my discussions on 3rd and 4th November with representatives of the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Regrettably, all industrial action has not yet ceased: instructions are not being carried out at certain centres and some staff who were suspended and who could have had their suspensions lifted on the basis of the union executive's undertaking that they would carry out instructions have not yet resumed work. Pending developments, I would prefer not to make any further comment for the present except to say that I assured the union publicly some time ago that on cessation of industrial action and the resumption of normal work whatever problems they had would be dealt with speedily and sympathetically.