Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Extract from speech opening of the annual council meeting of the printing and kindred industries union



Download PDFDownload PDF

z Leader of the Oppositionz f < : 2EXTRACT FROM SPEECH BY MR. BILL HAYDEN, MR, IN OPENING THE ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING OF THE PRINTING AND KINDRED INDUSTRIES UNION IN SYDNEY, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18. EMBARGOED UNTIL 2.00 P.M.Tec hn olo gic al change i s s e r i o u s l y adding to permanent unemployment in A u s t r a l i a every y e a r .By 1985, t h e r e w i l l be a permanent a d d i t i o n to unemployment o f n e a r l y 100,000 u n l e s s o f f - s e t t i n g p o l i c i e s to c r e a t e jo b s a r e a d o p te d .The Government cann ot proceed on th e na iv e and dangerous assumption t h a t all. change i s f o r t h e b e s t and a l l change-can ta k e c a r e o f i t s e l f .That c e r t a i n l y i s not t r u e in the s h o r t and medium term. . .The Government should immediately e s t a b l i s h a Manpower Planning A u t h o r i t y charged wi th t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f devel opi ng and co ­o r d i n a t i n g job c r e a t i o n , t r a i n i n g and r e - t r a i n i n g programs.Such a p o l i c y would e n su re t h a t th e pro c e ss o f change c r e a t e d by new . t e ch no l og y would be c o n t r o l l e d change and not d i s r u p t i v e and d i s l o c a t i v e c h a n g e . . . .At t h e same t im e , t h e Government should a c t to e s t a b l i s h a Technology Planning Council to b r in g t o g e t h e r a l l th e elements invol ve d in th e p ro c e ss o f change — Government, employers and u n i o n s , t h e p a r t i e swho must d e v i s e and a c c e p t p o l i c i e s .............. and the managers,e d u c a t o r s and r e s e a r c h e r s who must make th e p o l i c i e s work.The C o u n c i l 1s t a s k would be to e v a l u a t e the s o c i a l and economic impact o f new t e ch no l o gy and c o - o r d i n a t e p la nni ng f o r the p ro c e ss o f a d j u s t m e n t .Let me make one t h i n g c l e a r . I t i s i n d i s p u t a b l e t h a t t e c h n o l o g i c a l change i s i n e v i t a b l e in t h e o p e r a t i o n of our i n d u s t r i a l system.The t a s k o f Government i s to . r e m a i n in c o n t r o l o f t h a t change, to i n t e r p r e t i t i n t e l l i g e n t l y to the community, and to plan f o r th e t r a n s i t i o n o f change, with a wide range o f s u p p o r t programs.Only in t h i s way can change be a c c e p te d and su p p o rte d by th e community as a whole.A L u dd it e approach s ee ki ng t o block change i s too d e s p a i r i n g t o t o l e r a t e .and too damaging to th e f u t u r e w e l f a r e o f the c o u n tr y .S i m i l a r l y , a f o o l i s h p a n g l o s s i a n b e l i e f in th e i n d i l u t e d v i r t u e s o f _ u n r e g u l a t e d change w i l l have d i s a s t r o u s s o c i a l consequences as well as damaging economic e f f e c t s . ' . . . . / 2

z

- 2 -

A t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t i m e , I a l s o b e l i e v e i t i m p o r t a n t t o ma k e s o me

g e n e r a l o b s e r v a t i o n s a b o u t t h e i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s s c e n e i n

A u s t r a l i a t o d a y . ^ '

L a s t N o v e m b e r , i n a s p e e c h t o t h e F e d e r a l C o n f e r e n c e o f t h e B u i l d i n g

W o r k e r s I n d u s t r i a l U n i o n , .1 w a r n e d t h a t t h e u n i o n mo v e me n t wa s c o m i n g u n d e r

g r e a t a n d g r o w i n g p r e s s u r e f r o m C o n s e r v a t i v e g o v e r n m e n t ? i n A u s t r a l i a .

I s a i d a t t h e t i m e I h a d no d o u b t t h e p r o c e s s w o u l d i n t e n s i f y i n t h e

m o n t h s a h e a d a s t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r s o u g h t s c a p e g o a t s f o r h i s G o v e r n m e n t ' s

e c o n o m i c m i s m a n a g e m e n t . · ..

I t i s now a m a t t e r o f r e c o r d w h a t h a s b e e n - h a p p e n i n g i n t h i s c o u n t r y

t h r o u g h o u t t h i s y e a r .

I n Q u e e n s l a n d , i n W . A . , i n C a n b e r r a — i n t h e t h r e e s e a t s o f G o v e r n m e n t

w h e r e a r c h - r e a c t i o n i s g r e a t e s t - - t h e r e h a s b e e n a n u n r e m i t t i n g

a s s a u l t , i n t h e c r u d e s t t e r m s , on t h e u n i o n mo v e me n t i n a q u i t e

d e l i b e r a t e c a m p a i g n t o c o n f r o n t t r a d e u n i o n s a n d p r o v o k e u n r e s t , d i v i s i o n

a n d d i r e c t i n d u s t r i a l a c t i o n .

I t h a s b e e n a s e n s e l e s s e x e r c i s e i n a l i e n a t i o n a n d c o n f r o n t a t i o n wh e n t h e

g r e a t n e e d i n o u r c o m m u n i t y i s u n i t y a n d c o n c i l i a t i o n .

Th e w h o l e p u r p o s e h a s b e e n t o i n f l a m e a n d p r o v o k e t h e u n i o n s . . . . . . t o

d i s r u p t a n d d i s l o c a t e t h e c o u n t r y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t o a r o u s e e m o t i o n s , c r e a t e

d i s s e n s i o n , a n d g e n e r a t e d i v i s i o n , o n e A u s t r a l i a n a g a i n s t a n o t h e r .

Th e C o u r t G o v e r n m e n t m u s t c a l l a n e l e c t i o n b y n e x t May a t t h e l a t e s t .

B o t h t h e B j e l k e - P e t e r s e n G o v e r n m e n t a n d t h e F r a s e r G o v e r n m e n t a r e d u e t o

g o t o t h e p o l l s n e x t y e a r . ·

E a c h , t h e r e f o r e , h a s s o u g h t t o c r e a t e a n e l e c t i o n i s s u e t o r e s t o r e t h e i r ,

f a i l i n g s u p p o r t by t h e p e o p l e i n t h e f a c e o f r e c o r d u n e m p l o y m e n t , r i s i n g

i n f l a t i o n , f a l l i n g l i v i n g s t a n d a r d s , a n d b r o k e n a n d d i s h o n o u r e d p r o m i s e s .

E a c h h a s f a l l e n b a c k o n t h e c o n t e m p t i b l e a n d q u i t e d e s t r u c t i v e t a c t i c o f

u n i o n b a s h i n g . · .

I n W e s t e r n A u s t r a l i a , we h a v e s e e n t h e C o u r t G o v e r n m e n t m a n i p u l a t e a n

a r c h a i c p i e c e o f c i v i c l a w t o b r e a k u p o r d e r l y p u b l i c m e e t i n g s , t o a r r e s t

u n i o n i s t s , a n d t o i n f l a m e i n d u s t r i a l t e n s i o n s t o n e a r - b r e a k i n g p o i n t .

I n Q u e e n s l a n d , we h a v e s e e n P r e m i e r . B j e l k e - P e t e r s e n i g n o r e c o m m o n s e n s e

a n d w i d e s p r e a d c o m m u n i t y o p p o s i t i o n b y f o r c i n g i n t o P a r l i a m e n t a

d r a c o n i a n p i e c e o f i n d u s t r i a l l e g i s l a t i o n w h i c h , i f e n a c t e d , c a n n o t

b u t c a u s e t h e m o s t m a s s i v e u n i o n r e a c t i o n t h e f i r s t t i m e i t i s p u t i n t o

o p e r a t i o n .

I n C a n b e r r a , P r i m e M i n i s t e r F r a s e r h a s s o u g h t t h r o u g h o u t t h e y e a r , o n

o n e i s s u e a f t e r a n o t h e r , t o b r i n g h i s G o v e r n m e n t i n t o d i r e c t

c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e e n t i r e u n i o n m o v e m e n t . . ' _ .

He t r i e d i t w i t h t w o o d i o u s p i e c e s o f l e g i s l a t i o n a f f e c t i n g p u b l i c s e r v i c e

e m p l o y m e n t . He t r i e d i t w i t h t h e a i r . t r a f f i c c o n t r o l l e r s a n d t h e

p o s t a l w o r k e r s . He t r i e d i t , i n J u l y , w i t h t h e e m p l o y e e s o f T e l e c o m .

• · · / 3 . . '

- 3 -

X

. /

Now he i s s t e a m - r o l l i n g through P a rli am e n t o b j e c t i o n a b l e amendments to th e C o n c i l i a t i o n and A r b i t r a t i o n Act which have bro ugh t him

i n t o d i r e c t c o n f l i c t even with those who must a d m i n i s t e r i n d u s t r i a l

law — th e C o n c i l i a t i o n and A r b i t r a t i o n Commission.

I r e p e a t — th e Government's o b j e c t i v e i s nothing more o r l e s s than

open p u b lic c o n f l i c t with th e union movement ........... a c o n f l i c t

th e Government i t s e l f i s m a n ip u la tin g , j u s t as S i r Cha rles Court and

Mr. B j e l k e - P e t e r s e n are m a n ip u la ti n g c o n f r o n t a t i o n w it h t h e unions

in W.A. and Queensland. ^

I f in d i t d i f f i c u l t to b e l i e v e the p a r a l l e l a c t i o n s o f each Government

a r e c o i n c i d e n c e .............. j u s t as i t i s no c o in c i d e n c e t h a t t h i s upsurge

in a n t i - u n i o n l e g i s l a t i o n in P e r t h , Brisbane and Canberra comes a t a time

when each Government is f a c i n g an e l e c t i o n in th e next 12 months.

I t i s a crude and co n te m p ti b le campaign. ' . ■

There has been too much d i v i s i o n , too much a l i e n a t i o n , in A u s t r a l i a

in r e c e n t y e a r s . .

The e n e r g i e s o f Government must be d i r e c t e d a t b r i n g i n g t h e community t o g e t h e r ; a t d e a l i n g with th e g r e a t economic i s s u e s t h a t have c r e a t e d

u n c e r t a i n t y and s t a g n a t i o n in i n d u s t r y and d e s p a i r and h a r d s h i p . f o r te n s

o f thousands o f A u s t r a l i a n f a m i l i e s . - .

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , i t i s s o l e l y because th e p o l i c i e s employed by Mr. F r a s e r

have no t worked, d e s p i t e a l l those glowing promises f o u r y e a r s ago, t h a t

he and his a l l i e s are now reduced to shabby p o l i t i c a l e x e r c i s e s t h a t can

only f u r t h e r damage our co u n tr y and d i v i d e our peo p le .

E N.D S