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McMullan calls for IR amendments even Margaret Thatcher couldn't resist!



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Media Release

Bob McMullan MP Sh a d o w M inister for Industrial Relations M ember for Canberra

r ■ EMBARGOED UNTIL 8.00 PM ON 18 SEPTEMBER 1996.

IR37/96 18 September 1996

McMULLAN CALLS FOR IR AMENDMENTS EVEN MARGARET THATCHER COULDN'T RESIST!

The Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Bob McMullan, tonight revealed that he was preparing further amendments to the Workplace Relations Bill, which even Margaret Thatcher had been prepared to accept in industrial relations legislation.

Addressing the Annual General Dinner of the ACT Industrial Relations Society, Mr McMullan observed that when Mrs Thatcher reintroduced common law actions against unions for industrial action, she at least placed a cap on the damages which could be recovered, and limited access to injunctions.

"Even Margaret Thatcher appreciated that unlimited access to common law remedies against trade unions would overwhelmingly 'tip the scales' against them. Even she realised that there must be some balance in industrial relations law," Mr McMullan said.

"Peter Reith needs to learn the same lesson.

"His Workplace Relations Bill is totally lacking in balance. It opens up greater and easier access to damages and injunctions, without even the balancing items Mrs Thatcher was prepared to accept.

"If the minor parties will not join with us in opposing the increased emphasis on common law remedies, we will move amendments to cap the damages which can be recovered, and to limit, access to injunctions."

Mr McMullan said he expected the minor parties to support these new amendments.

"The minor parties, including the Democrats, have said they are committed to balance in industrial relations legislation. If the balance we seek to strike was good enough for Margaret Thatcher, it surely must be good enough for them."

For further information: David Fredericks: (06) 277 4428 or 015 497 974

Telephone: (06) 277 4428 ♦ Facsimile: (06) 277 8499