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Labor looks forward to IR fight: McMullan.



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Media Release

 

BOB McMULLAN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, FINANCE AND THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR CANBERRA

 

IR55/98

16 July 1998

 

LABOR LOOKS FORWARD TO IR FIGHT: McMULLAN

 

The ALP is looking forward to fighting the next election with industrial relations as a big issue the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Bob McMullan, said today.

 

Addressing the Industrial Relations Society of ACT, Mr McMullan said he welcomed observations that industrial relations will be a big issue at the next election.

 

“The ALP is more than willing to take up the fight on industrial relations,” Mr McMullan said.

 

“That is why we went out early with our proposals for reform of Peter Reith’s Workplace Relations Act .

 

“We have a good story to tell. Peter Reith and the other conservative parties have a lousy story to tell - a story nobody wants to hear anymore.

 

“The ALP has a policy that recognises change is inevitable, but gives working Australians the capacity to cope with that change - so they can embrace it rather than resist it.

 

“That is why we are going to fix the award system, restore the independent umpiring powers of the Industrial Relations Commission and give priority to collective bargaining over insecure individual contracts.

 

“Peter Reith and the Liberals, on the other hand, are hiding under a rock when it comes to industrial relations because they can only offer more pain and more insecurity - their policy will leave working Australians on their own to cope with the process of change as best they can.

 

“Working Australians will have to ‘sink or swim’ with more enterprise bargaining, more secret individual contracts offered on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis, and more attacks on the independent umpire.

 

“The Nationals will simply back whatever policy Peter Reith comes up with — even though rural workers are amongst the most vulnerable and will be even more exposed under the Liberals’ policy.

 

“And as for One Nation - that depends on who Pauline Hanson is talking to. But we know she supported the Workplace Relations Act and supports ripping unfair dismissal protection away from small business employees.

 

“The divide between Labor and the conservative parties on industrial relations is as great as it has ever been.

 

“I am confident we are on the right side of the divide”.

 

For further information: David Fredericks: (02) 6277 4428

 

 

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