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Govt. welcomes Aust,'n. Industrial Relation Commission's decision

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The Government welcomes the decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission handed down this afternoon.

The Commission's decision is a complete vindication of the stand taken by the Government from the beginning of this dispute and of the correctness of the actions taken by the airlines as responsible employers with the support of the Government.

Furthermore the decision applies to the pilots quite strictly the guidelines that have been applied to all other workers. This principle has been fundamental to the Government's position throughout this dispute.

The wage fixing system and thereby the restructuring of the Australian economy, which have been threatened by the pilots, have been protected.

Also protected, quite properly, have been the rights of those pilots already employed by the companies in their re-building programs.

By expressing the view that awards should be made in terms of the existing contracts, the AIRC has settled the issue of pilots' remuneration.

The way is now clear for pilots to continue to return to work by signing the contracts which have now been endorsed by the AIRC and which will form the basis of a new award.

Enormous damage has been done to Australia's tourism industry by the past actions of the AFAP. The Government hopes that the airlines will be quickly rebuilt to allow the provision of normal services as soon as technically possible.

The future involvement in the airline industry of the AFAP is now in its own hands. The AIRC has laid out a process whereby it would be appropriate for the AFAP to be bound by the awards, in the words of the Commission, "provided the bans on seeking employment with the companies are lifted, provided that the AFAP is prepared to undertake to accept decisions of the Commission and provided the AFAP is prepared to give the necessary undertakings required by the National Wage Case decision."

The Government calls on pilots to rejoin the industry under the new award. r ____

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