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ACTU special unions conference



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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 ACTU SPECIAL UNIONS CONFERENCE 89/89

Senator Fred Chaney, the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, said he was seriously concerned about some of the qualifications the ACTU Special Unions Conference placed on its commitment to the wage principles.

Instead of threatening a campaign of industrial action to ensure that all workers receive a pay rise this year, the unions should be concentrating on ensuring that the Structural Efficiency Principle is implemented in a way that improves productivity. If wage rises are not accompanied by productivity gains they will

simply be eaten up by inflation.

The insistence by the unions that all workers receive their first pay rise by the end of 1989 also casts serious doubt on the the Treasurer's forecast that earnings will rise by 7 per cent this year.

If all workers receive their second award restructuring rise six months after their first increase, and you add wage drift, adjustments to minimum rates, and the lagged effects of last year's wages principles, earnings are more likely to rise by

around 8-9 per cent this financial year.

Given the heavily qualified commitment to the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission and the threat of industrial action, the Prime Minister should let the public know if his new tough line against the Australian Federation of Air Pilots will apply to any unions which engage in such action.

Or is it still the rule that ACTU affiliated unions can accept what they like from the Commission and reject what they do not like?

The Australian public is increasingly sceptical of the Prime Minister's involvement in the pilots dispute. They will be even more sceptical if he applies a completely different set of rules to those in the union movement whom he regards as friends and

allies.

13 September 1989 Contact: Keith Kessell (09) 325 8179

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH