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Hamersley Unions a National Disgrace Where are the Human Rights and Civil Liberties lobbies?



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MEDIA RELEASE *7iwt 79C.P.

LEADER OF THE NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENERGY AND RESOURCES MEMBER FOR FARRER

Enquiries Parliament House Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. Phone (06) 277 4058 Fax (06) 277 2052

HAMERSLEY UNIONS A NATIONAL DISGRACE

Where are th e Human Rights and Civil Liberties lobbies?

’ ■ i

"There is a very clear cut point arising from the industrial dispute in the Pilbara - namely the right to choose whether to belong to a union or not.

"In the Pilbara, we have a situation where an Australian worker wants the right not to belong to a union - 1 would have thought that the principles involved were basic in a dem ocracy such as Australia.

"But No - we have a two week strike costing Hamersley Iron - and Australia's balance of payments - $55 million, not to mention the loss of goodwill.

"Meanwhile Mr Beales and his family continue to be victimised and have suffered from an arson attack on their home.

"The silence of the Human Rights Commissioner and the Civil Liberties lobbies is a sad reflection on them.

"Why is it not a fundamental human right to work without necessarily joining a union?

"There are clear elements of blackmail and victimisation in this story and yet the Federal Government, the West Australian State Government, the ACTU, the Human Rights Commission and the Civil Liberties lobbies have all been strangely silent.

"It is a very sad reflection on the lot of them.

‘W hat we need is a fair-go approach to industrial relations in the Pilbara and across Australia - that is, the right to belong to a union and the right not to belong to a union," concluded Mr Fischer.

ends

7 July 1992

CO M M O NW EALTH PARLIAMENT ARY LIBRARY M IC A H