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International meetings on working time and wages policy



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DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

NEWS RELEASE NO. M /78 25 S eptem ber 1972

' "INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS ON WORKING TIME

AND WAGES POLICY

The A c tin g M in is te r f o r F o re ig n A f f a i r s , Mr Ia n S i n c l a i r , and

th e M in is te r f o r L abour and N a tio n a l S e r v ic e , Mr P h i l l i p L ynch, announced

to d a y th e A u s t r a l i a r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s to a t t e n d two im p o rta n t i n t e r n a t i o n a l

m e e tin g s in th e la b o u r f i e l d o rg a n is e d by th e O r g a n is a tio n f o r Economic

C o -o p e ra tio n and D evelopm ent (O .E .C .D .).

The f i r s t , on new p a t t e r n s f o r w orking tim e , i s to be h e ld i n

P a r i s t h i s week from 26 - 29 S ep tem b er, and w i l l be a tte n d e d by: 1

G overnm ent: Mr R.A. Smee,.

R e g io n a l D ir e c t o r ,

New S outh W ales, ·

D epartm ent o f L abour and N a tio n a l S e rv ic e

E m ployer: Mr F . McL. B u rg e s s ,

G e n e ra l M anager P e r s o n n e l,

Tubem akers o f A u s t r a l i a L td .

W orker: Mr H .J . S o u te r ,

S e c r e t a r y ,

A u s t r a li a n C o u n c il o f T rad e U nions.

. . . / 2

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The C o n fe re n c e w i l l be lo o k in g a t f u t u r e tr e n d s in w orking h o u rs

i n i n d u s t r i a l i s e d c o u n t r i e s » I t w i l l exam ine i n p a r t i c u l a r th e scope f o r ,

and d e s i r a b i l i t y o f . r e a r r a n g i n g e x i s t i n g w orking tim e in such ways a s

c h a n g e a b le h o u rs o f w ork e a c h day to s u i t in d i v i d u a l c h o ic e , a fo u r day

w orking week, g r e a t e r r e c o u r s e to s h i f t work and in c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s

f o r p a r t- t im e work»

T h is i s an a r e a i n w hich c o n s id e r a b le e x p e rim e n tin g i s p ro c e e d in g

and i s a s u b je c t w h ich w i l l u n d o u b te d ly a t t r a c t more a t t e n t i o n i n coming

y e a rs»

At th e se c o n d m e e tin g A u s t r a l i a w i l l be one o f f i v e c o u n t r i e s - the

o t h e r s a r e U n ite d Kingdom, F ra n c e , F e d e r a l R e p u b lic o f Germany and

I r e l a n d - s tu d y in g Sw eden’ s s o l i d a r i s t i c wage p o lic y » The S tudy Group w ill

v i s i t Sweden b etw ee n 9 and 13 O c to b e r, The A u s t r a li a n p a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l bei

G overnm ent s Mr J»A »J. C a in e , .

F i r s t A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y ,

I n d u s t r i a l R e l a ti o n s ( P o lic y and S e r v i c e s ) 9

D epartm ent o f L abour and N a tio n a l S e rv ic e »

E m ployer: Mr G, P o l i t e s , M»B»E„,

E x e c u tiv e D i r e c t o r ,

A u s t r a li a n C o u n c il o f E m p lo y ers' F e d e r a t i o n s „

T rad e Unions Mr H .J . S o u te r ,

S e c r e t a r y ,

A u s t r a li a n C o u n c il o f T rad e U n io n s,

The h ig h l e v e l o f A u s t r a li a n p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e f l e c t s th e im p o rta n c e

a tta c h e d to t h i s s u b je c t on a l l s id e s » The S tu d y Group w i l l i n v e s t i g a t e

S w eden's wage p o li c y , w hich r e p r e s e n t s a t a tte m p t by Sw edish E m p lo y ers'

A s s o c ia tio n s and T rade U nions d e l i b e r a t e l y to co n d u ct t h e i r wage b a rg a in in g

»»o/3

-3 -

i n su ch a- way a s t o re d u c e wage d i f f e r e n t i a l s betw een o c c u p a tio n s . The

S tu d y Group w i l l e v a lu a te th e p o lic y and c o n s id e r th e g e n e r a l q u e s tio n o f

th e e x t e n t to w hich i t i s f e a s i b l e f o r e m p lo y ers, u n io n s and g o vernm ents i n a

c o u n try to in f l u e n c e wage d i f f e r e n t i a l s in th e d i r e c t i o n o f s o c i a l j u s t i c e

w ith o u t unduly im p a irin g econom ic e f f i c i e n c y o r ad d in g to i n f l a t i o n .

A u s t r a l i a , a r e l a t i v e l y new member o f th e O .E .C .D ., h a s been

in c lu d e d among th e l i m i t e d number o f c o u n t r i e s i n th e S tu d y G roup. T h is

r e f l e c t s th e p a r t i c u l a r c o n t r i b u t i o n which A u s t r a l i a i s a b le to make in

th e l i g h t o f e x p e rie n c e w ith o u r c o n c i l i a t i o n and a r b i t r a t i o n m a ch in ery .

The S tudy G ro u p 's c o n c lu s io n s s h o u ld be o f c o n s id e r a b le i n t e r e s t and v a lu e

to a l l th e O .E .C .D .’ s member c o u n t r i e s , w hich in c lu d e a l l th e m ost advanced

i n d u s t r i a l n a t io n s o f th e w e ste rn , w orld'.