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Hawke's destructive approach to the pilot's dispute



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MEDIA RELEASESENATOR FRED CHANEY DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 90/89

HAWKE'S DESTRUCTIVE APPROACH TO THE PILOTS' DISPUTE

The Prime Minister's obsession with smashing the pilots' union and his use of taxpayers' money to prop up the Accord with the ACTU is condemning Australia to the long, destructive route to end the airlines' dispute.

There are in fact two clear options:

1. A drawn out war of attrition which will see the gradual resumption of services over a period of months with a continuation of the extraordinary disruption of the economy over that period.

2. An immediate return to work on the basis of negotiations but no sell-out of principles.

The Opposition has no doubt that with even a modicum of leadership from the Government this second constructive option is achievable.

Mr Hawke has opted for a war of attrition, a luxury the country cannot afford because of the immense suffering being inflicted on innocent parties.

In so doing he has rejected the constructive option of an immediate return to work involving no sell out of principles on either side.

There is no doubt this is achievable.

All parties must be prepared to remove the barriers to a resumption of normal services.

For the pilots, this means agreement to immediately resume full scheduled services. It is clear they are prepared to do this.

The Opposition strongly supports the negotiation of individual contracts with pilots in which the shared gains of improved productivity will result in better wage rises than available under the artificial strait-jacket of the Accord. We also accept this may result in the employment of

considerably fewer numbers of pilots.

We totally reject the pilots' resort to industrial blackmail.

What is needed now is some common sense and goodwill to stop the country bleeding to death. —

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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No one disputes the need for efficiency and productivity improvements in the airline industry. The debate now is about the best means of achieving that end.

The tragedy is that Hawke has chosen to take the country down the path of destruction to kow-tow to Kelty and to feed his own giant ego.

It appears that the only real obstacle to an immediate resumption of work is the determination of the Government to smash the Australian Federation of Air Pilots. However stupid the AFAP has been in its original approach to the dispute, it is absurd to be driving innocent parties in the tourist industry to bankruptcy to enable the Prime Minister

to pursue a vendetta against the pilots' union.

The Opposition will support any measures required to ensure the AFAP does not impede the negotiating process. We have consistently supported the pilots' right to voluntary

unionism and freedom from intimidation from any source.

But the Government and airlines in turn are not entitled to intimidate pilots during the bargaining process. They are entitled to legal advice and to the advice of their Association if that is what they wish.

PERTH 14 September 1989 Contact: Keith Kessell (09) 325 8179