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Reith cheers confrontation in industrial relations but hinders cooperation



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Media Release

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BOB McMULLAN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, FINANCE AND THE ARTS MEMBER FOR CANBERRA

IR09/98 24 February 1998

REITH CHEERS CONFRONTATION IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS BUT HINDERS COOPERATION

The Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Bob McMullan, today condemned Peter Reith for cheering on militant employers seeking confrontation while hindering decent employers seeking cooperation.

"The true character of Peter Reith's industrial relations agenda - and of Peter Reith himself -has been starkly revealed by his efforts in the last day or so," Mr McMullan said.

"When the militant Patricks sought the heavy hand of court injunctions to stop industrial protest, Peter Reith cheered from the sideline.

"He applauded when the court ordered an injunction - even though we all know this will not resolve tensions on the wharfs and can only make potential conflict more certain, and more bitter.

"At the same time, Peter Reith was intervening in the Commission to argue against a sensible training arrangement which had been agreed to by the moderate MTIA in cooperation with the union movement.

"This is an arrangement which has been reached cooperatively, which deals sensibly and sensitively with the important issue of training, and which represents the outcome the industry wants.

"Why would Peter Reith want to stop this?

"The only answer is that it doesn't fit into his agenda of pushing the politics of conflict.

"It doesn't allow him to push the politics of Peter Reith.

"It is time Peter Reith looked beyond his own agenda and started focusing on cooperative outcomes that are good for industry, and that are in the national interest."

For further information: David Fredericks 015 497 974

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