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Wide combs dispute

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IAN MACPHEE M.P., Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations.

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The wide combs dispute represents a fair test of the Federal Labor Government's claim that its special relationship with the Trade Union Movement will enable it to improve industrial delations. The Government has been slow to express .support for

the Full Bench of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and has not appeared to make the necessary efforts to get the AWU and its members to accept the decision of the Full Bench.

It is of vital importance to industrial relations that the decisions and recommendations of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission be abided by all parties, and the Federal Government must, at all times, use its powers to ensure that this is done.

Now that the Minister for Industrial Relations has belatedly notified the dispute to the Commission he has provided the Union with yet another opportunity to present any technical evidence it possesses on the issue.

The Union should now present that evidence quickly and then accept the further findings of the Commission in order that the shearers can recommence as soon as possible. If this

does not happen great hardship will be caused to the people directly affected and the economy generally, with a quick loss in the confidence of the Government and its capability to support institutions like the Conciliation end Arbitration

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' ' The Government should also condemn the acts of violence and . t h e threats of further violence which have been perpetrated V by unionists against strike breakers, employers and the families of both. This thuggery has caused great anxiety and has created

community discord in rural centres throughout Australia without any apparent action by a Government which says it is committed to bringing Australia together and gaining consensus.

" I call on the Minister to explain what action he has taken and what action he proposes to take in order to rectify this serious situation.

; ; V ' * ' ’■ ' * ! ' " ' MELBOURNE