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ACTU wants to have its cake and eat it too



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SfH

226/91 15 September 1991

ACTU WANTS TO HAVE ITS CAKE AND EAT IT TOO

Martin Ferguson's "Sunday" interview today is riddled with contradictions. He blames politicians for lack of progress on economic and industrial reform and overlooks the A CTU's own responsibilities.

Mr Ferguson wants the go ahead for development projects to create jobs but is not prepared to call for the

reversal of the Government's recent decision to ban mining at Coronation Hill. He accepts the factional Labor politics and, despite what he says on "Sunday", the

green movement influence that dictates the Hawke

Government's decisions on development projects

Mr Ferguson wants the third Sydney runway to go ahead but wrongly attaches blame for its 8-year delay to

Government in NSW instead of where it really lies - with Federal Labor MB's holding marginal Sydney seats

Mr Ferguson says he wants workplace negotiation for "a more competitive Australia" but still pins the A CTU's faith on industry awards negotiated before the Industrial Relations Commission, e.g. the current metal industry

case, and is pressing ahead with the A C T U 's plan to

create 20 super-unions

Against all the evidence that the Accord has failed to deliver real benefits to Australia's workers and

employers, Mr Ferguson still wants the Accord to continue with a general wage increase on top of productivity- related wage rises

In short, the ACTU wants to have its cake and eat it too.

Mr Ferguson must realise that if he is sincere when he says: "We want workplace negotiation, we want workplace change, we want to make Australia more competitive", then the ACTU must be prepared to support a radical shift away from the centralised wage-fixing

system, based on the power of big unions and big government, to genuine enterprise agreements based on the mutual and realistic interests of workers and employers.

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