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National Wage Case - June and September quarters



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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ΤΗ Ε ΊΊΌ Ν . TONY STREET, M.P

No. 88/78

NATIONAL WAGE CASE - JUNE. AND' SEPTEMBER QUARTERS

The Government -i ts to the -Full.

Bench of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission currently

hearing the. National Wage Ca-se for ite J u n o -

quarters.

Kr Street, said 1 1 The Government emphasised that there must be

maximum restraint in wages and o t her labour· m s t s . T h is is

an essential part of the Government's Budget strategy which

is based squarely on the need to continue to reduce inflation

as a necessary pre-condition for a restoration of confidence,

and sustained economic growth11. _______ _ _

"The decision which would contribute most to the reduction

of inflation, growth in job opportunities and economic recovery,

is no general wage increase, and indeed the Commission itself

has said in the past that economic considerations alone provide

a clear case for no general wage.increase".

The Minister continued :lNevert.hel ess, . the Government recognises

that it is up to the Commission to decide, the level of national

wage increase v/hich will make the most constructive contribution

to Australia's economic objectives. · while the Commission, -is

obliged, to "take both economic. arid industrial considerations into

account in making its decislog, .the .'Commonwealth' >.-el5 eves that

by accepting the need for 'maximum, .wage restraint, the- Commission

would be. meeting both these rcspo5is.ibalitries.

2

on the basis of available.evidence, the Government does not

believe that maximum wage restraint," by the Commission will

lead to an upsurge in industrial disruption and increased

pressure for wage increases outside the Commission” .

Xh a.ts submission, the Government said that increases in

real labour costs must be kept to a minimum if a greater

flow of employment opportu»! ties is to occur. The e v i d e n c e . .

indicates that labour costs remain too high by past standards

3T?d— that the share token up by profits too l o w . . The result

is that employers are being forced to reduce the size of '

-theirr— workforce a n d , in many cases, Substitute capital for

labour. it is now becoming more and more widely recognised

t-ba- f-- -fc- he level of real labour costs has a direct impact on

empl o y m e n t . .

The Commonwealth also emphasised the need for all parties to

ulxltLe— by the Commission's decision and referred to the fact ·

that a number of recent, major industrial disputes had placed ■

cost on the Australian economy. .

Melbourne

. 3 November 1978