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Thursday, 16 May 1985
Page: 2073

Senator HAMER —Has the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations seen the decision by the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to pass on the 2.6 per cent national wage rise to the Food Preservers Union? Is this Union notorious for obtaining benefits which are clearly outside the so-called prices and incomes accord by stand-over tactics? Will this decision by the Arbitration Commission be a serious blow to the long term credibility of the accord between the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Government?

Senator WALSH —I have seen some Press reference to the decision to which Senator Hamer referred. I also have a note from Mr Willis in which I am advised that although the Commission has agreed to the 2.6 per cent flow-on, it has added the condition that the matter can be relisted speedily if any employer respondents to the award notify the Commission that the Food Preservers Union is pressing a claim outside the guidelines. Although the Union remains in the system, it has really been granted a conditional flow-on. The Union has been placed on trust. There is a capacity for the matter to go back to the Commission if there are any break outs. The Government will continue to oppose flow-ons where there are claims being pressed and in this case the Government's intervention clarified the Union's position and now there is on the record a clear commitment to the system.