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Stevedores must not cave in to unions 10% demands



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JOHN SHARP MEDIA RELEASE

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GILMORE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SHIPPING AND WATERFRONT REFORM

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Tel 06 2 7 7 4213, Fax 06 2 7 7 2 1 2 4

STEVEDORES MUST NOT CAVE IN TO UNIONS' 10% DEMANDS

It is essential that Australian stevedoring companies firmly reject the WWF's latest outrageous demand for a 10% wage increase.

Conaust has already rejected the union claim, and other stevedores must stand firm with Conaust in rejecting this latest attempt to bite into the users for a cut of supposed improved performance from which the users have yet to receive any costs benefits.

The WWF has completely abandoned any protestations of good faith in this demand, made when they have not yet even delivered on the reforms which were to justify their last disproportionate increases granted in the now notorious Hawke deal last year.

This payment-in-advance approach to reform is absurd - the wharfies have an obligation to reform, not a requirement to be even more handsomely compensated for giving to waterfront users services for which the users are already paying extortionate rates.

The wharfies have yet to make good all of their reform undertakings for increases and bonuses already received, and until they are made good in full and the present reform process is not only delivered in token but in kind, their repeated dips into the users' pockets are both grossly impertinent and destructive of Australia's competitiveness in the international marketplace.

Coming as it does right after the industry (and, presumably, eventually users) have had to pick up the tab for another $80 million in Rolls-Royce redundancies to further cushion the wharfies from the effects of the recession ( a recession in which the industry is battling more than it need because of the enormous price the wharfies have already extracted for their modest reforms) the WWF's demand for a further 10% wage increase is a direct insult to the rest of the Australian workforce.

It is an even greater insult to the one million unemployed Australians whose prospects of employment are made even more remote because of the unnecessary competition- impeding costs loaded onto Australian exporters by self-centred and greedy wharfies.

The wharfies 10% claim will lengthen the dole queues if granted. Conaust's rejection of it is sensible and responsible and the remainder of the industry must follow suit.

Ends.........WR65/92 20-9-92

Contact: John Wallis A/H 06 295 6796