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Industrial disputation continues at record low levels



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THE HON PETER REITH MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600

16 September 1999 111/99

INDUSTRIAL DISPUTATION CONTINUES AT RECORD LOW LEVELS

Figures released today show that since the commencement of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 levels of industrial disputation continue to be at record low levels.

For the twelve months ended June 1999 there were 56 working days lost per thousand employees.

According to records held by my department, this is the lowest figure for the same twelve month period for over sixty years.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that this is the lowest rate since this statistical measure was first compiled by the ABS in 1981.

The record low levels of industrial disputation experienced under the Act demonstrate that employers and employees at the workplace are increasingly adopting a consensual and constructive approach to agreement making; and that there are effective remedies available to those who suffer harm from illegitimate industrial action.

The More Job Better Pay amendments to the WRA are aimed squarely at fostering an even more productive and harmonious workplace.

While the number of working days lost is low the introduction of such things as mediation and secret ballots prior to industrial action will create a less confrontational environment that will serve Australian employees and employers well.

For further information contact: Ian Hanke on 0419 484 095.

Telephone: (02) 6277 7320 Fax: (02) 6273 4115