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Time for ACTU decision



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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS THE HON. TONY STREET, M.R

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TIM E FOR ACTU DECISION

The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, the Hon Tony Street MP said today unions taking money-grabbing strike action were causing hardship to their fellow workers, and endangering the jobs of thousands.

"Unions such as those in the building and transport industries have taken or are planning to take action, in an effort to raise the price of their own labour and to line their own pockets at the expense of other workers and the community generally. How can employers be expected to take on new workers? Higher wages that employers are forced to pay make

it almost impossible for them to create new job opportunities. In fact union attacks on their own industry have already cost hundreds of builders labourers their jobs."

"The Builders Labourers' Federation have once again demonstrated their eagerness to lead the race in selfishness and irresponsibility. The building industry unions have been conducting a deliberate campaign across the country in support of wage increases of at least $6 per week which they know to be outside the wage indexation guidelines."

"The Railway unions not to be outdone, have already taken national strike action in support of wage increases ranging from $7 to $15 per week. Union officials have threatened further strikes in pursuit of their selfish aims."

The Minister pointed out, "There is no escaping the conclusion that the ACTU must accept a great deal of the responsibility for this spate of strikes. By passing a resolution calling for on-the-job action to gain more money in defiance of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission's decisions, the ACTU has provided every encouragement to these unions."

"The ACTU must think again. They cannot present a case of compliance with the indexation guidelines to the Commission while at the same time condoning industrial disruption as a result of the Commission's decisions."

"The ACTU must demonstrate leadership by protecting the interests of the majority of its members. This can only be done by calling a stop to these irresponsible, damaging and selfish strikes."

MELBOURNE

19 July 1978