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Meat bans must end

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Union action blocking the air freight of beef and sheepmeat was a

blatant attack on the farm sector by the leadership of the trade

union movement, Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Ralph Hunt,

said today in Mackay.

Mr Hunt said the Transport Workers Union had singled out meat for

the bans and already several tonnes of specialty goods had been left

to rot.

The dispute flared initially more than a week ago, but the Hawke

Government has shown a reluctance to become involved.

The TWU is playing a dangerous game. Amongst the stakes is Australia's

reputation for reliability of export supplies - a reputation badly

damaged by other recent union disruption of the meat industry.

Mr Hunt released a telex sent to the Minister for Employment and

Industrial Relations, Mr Willis, on Friday urging him to intervene

and ensure the employers' requirements were carried out by TWO members.

To date the actions of the Government, as with Mudginberri, have been

designed first and foremost to satisfy the whims of the trade union


Beyond the short term costs to the exporters, every Australian will pay

in the longer term for the loss of confidence by overseas buyers.

In the absence of strong Government leadership, the meat industry

will have no choice but to defend itself against trade union leaers

in whatever ways it can - including full resort to the processes of law.

Inquiries: (06 2) 73 2 2 93 /72 7419


Hon Ralph Willis, MP Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Canberra

Dear Minister,

The Transport Workers Union have imposed indefinite bans on air shipments of meat as from Thursday from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane following last week's ban from Thursday until last Sunday night.

These shipments of chilled promotional meat were destined for Japan, the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

The TWU ban is supposedly in support of their demands for a 38 hour week and additional concessions in respect to occupational health and safety. Their bans are only applying to meat exports.

This action by the TWU will sabotage the promotional campaign being launched by the lamb and beef industry to secure new markets for chilled meat.

In view of our need to increase our export earning income and the need to secure new markets for Australia's meat I ask you as a matter of urgency on behalf of the meat industry to inter­ vene and bring this dispute to a conclusion.

Kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

RALPH J HUNT Shadow Minister for Primary ,

Industry and Deputy Leader of the National Party ,