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Qantas strike



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STATEMENT BY THE HON. LESLIE BURY, M.P.,

MINISTER FOR LABOUR AND NATIONAL SERVICE

SYDNEY,

15th December, 1966.

Lato this afternoon,at his request, Captain Holt, ' the President of the Pilots' Federation, saw me with members of his Executive. This followed talks between the Federation and representatives of the Qantas Board and Management.

I was told that the Federation required, as a condition of return to work, that Qantas should accept that the new contract with its pilots should be based on the North American type contract, and that the Federation would not agree to arbitration unless this was accepted. .

I made it quite clear that the Government insisted that the present quite unjustified strike, which had effects far beyond Pilots and Qantas must be quickly terminated, and that any disagreements that arose between Qantas and the Pilots in

subsequent negotiations for a new contract must be resolved by arbitration.

There w a s , I said no more justification for these negotiations being dependant on prior 'acceptance by Qantas of the Federation's demand that the t sis of negotiation should be a North American type contract than prior acceptance by the Federation of Qantas1 proposals for some form of incentive

scheme.

I emphasized that arbitration of industrial disputes was the long accepted method, endorsed by the Australian community, for the settlement of disputes, and that there could be no justification for the Pilots being treated as a race apart.

If they believed in their case they had no reason to fear arbitration.

It seems, from my discussions with representatives of the Federation, that the Djajkarta and two Pilot issues have ceased to be of any major significance.

The position of the Federation is thus clear» From a situation where the dispute has been centred on alleged safety issues, we are now faced with the fundamental issue as to whether the Pilots' Federation and its members should be subject to arbitration, the long established system of settling industrial disputes in Australia, or be a law unto themselves.