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Strike figures complete an embarrassing week for the government: McMullan

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Media Release0 Bob McMullan MP Shadow M inister for Industrial Relations Member for C anberra

IR45/96 18 October 1996


The Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Bob McMullan, said that today's ABS industrial disputes statistics were an embarrassment for the Government.

"The Government must have hoped its embarrassing week was at an end," Mr McMullan said. "But these strike figures have just compounded the Government's woes.

"There are two particular figures that the Government should be ashamed of.

"First, the statistician says that significant increases and high levels of disputation occurred in the Other industries’ category, predominantly in Government administration and defence. The statistics show that a staggering 25,000 working days were lost in this category during July. That figure normally runs at about 2,000 to 6,000.

"Clearly this reflects the massive insecurity the Government is causing in the ranks of public servants by its anti-public sector policies. The Government is slashing and burning Government services and the people providing those services resent it. As anyone in the same circumstances would."

Mr McMullan said that the overall trend in the level of industrial disputes was a second source of shame for the Government. ■ .

"I have prepared a graph which shows all too clearly the increased level of strikes since this Government took over.

"They threw away the cooperative model of industrial relations. Peter Reith spends most of his time making gratuitous attacks on the union movement.

"But these figures show the result. Mr Reith may get some perverse pleasure from increasing disputation, but industry certainly does not. As Bert Evans made crystal clear last night, the last thing industry wants or needs is disharmony and dissension at the workplace."

Mr McMullan said it was time for the Government to stop its ideological campaign against workers and to start governing in the interests of all Australians.

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


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




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