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Thursday, 28 August 1980
Page: 866

Mr YATES (HOLT, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Has the production line of Australia's best car, the Holden Commodore, been halted at the Dandenong plant and 760 workers in my electorate stood down? Has this situation arisen due to 67 windscreen glass workers at Geelong illegally sitting in? Can the Minister inform the House what steps union members at General Motors-Holden's Ltd Dandenong can take to recover their lost wages and substantial damages? Has he information indicating that a few union officials are, for political reasons, deliberately destroying the job security of the workers and the prosperity of Australia?

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Industrial Relations) - I am aware that 760 workers have been stood down at the General MotorsHolden's Ltd plant at Dandenong in the honourable member's electorate. As the honourable member suggests, that is for no other reason than the completely irresponsible action of a few workers at the Pilkington ACI Operations Pty Ltd factory in Geelong. The Government shares the honourable member's concern that the livelihood of hundreds of workers can be denied by the actions taken elsewhere of a few who have nothing to do with the plant in the honourable member's electorate. For its part, the Government has always emphasised that differences which arise between employees and their employers cannot be properly resolved by strike action. They can be properly resolved through the orderly processes of the conciliation and arbitration system. In answer to the second part of the honourable member's question, there are substantial rights available for both individuals and organisations which may wish to use the law, either industrial or civil, to protect their interests. But it is always prudent to seek expert legal advice on what is the most appropriate course of action in any particular set of circumstances.

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