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Today's 'saviour' the real industrial villain

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Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce

. Ian McLachlan


There was a tragic irony in the ACTU's offer of 'union co-operation to clear obstacles' for a special 100 projects as part of a job creating strategy to be put to the Federal Government today, according to the Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce, Ian McLachlan.

What could possibly be so uniquely special about these selected projects which sets them apart from the thousands of other industry opportunities which would result from more flexible industrial arrangements all over Australia?

What makes this offer even more extraordinary is that the architect of the new strategy is the man who almost singlehandedly was the designer of the circumstances which have brought about the destruction of countless thousands of jobs - W J Kelty - the creator of the Accord,' Mr McLachlan said.

Mr McLachlan said the Accord's inflexibility with its centralised and remote wage setting process had denied employers and their own employees the basic right to strike a deal together for the benefit of both.

'As a result, huge job losses occurred and new jobs did not appear because employers were locked into arrangements which made their products too expensive.

'Even worse, these businesses are now making their new investments overseas, denying new jobs to the whole community and especially our young people.

'Employers have been saying for months that they are simply not prepared to expand their businesses and create permanent jobs while they are hobbled by obsolete workplace rules and regulations.

'Now we have the astonishing spectacle of this industrial villain clothing himself as the 'saviour' of Australian workers by providing new jobs on 'special projects' which could have more 'union co-operation.'

'Sadly, Mr Kelty has confined his promise to the chosen one hundred.

'There is an industrial relations revolution just waiting to happen all over this country when these sorts of more flexible arrangements are available to every Australian employer who wants to involve their employees in determining their own arrangements and therefore their destiny,' Mr McLachlan said.

Further information:

Ian McLachlan, Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Telephone: 08 2377140. 29 October, 1991.