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Tuesday, 28 September 1971
Page: 1525

Mr JACOBI (HAWKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question, which is directed to the' Minister for Labour and National Service, relates to the retrenchments by General Motors-Holden's Pty Ltd and Chrysler Aust. Ltd of 650 skilled employees at their South Australian plants. Is the Minister aware of, and what action does he intend to take following, the irresponsible attitude of both companies in failing to provide any adequate prior notice to either workers or unions - in the case of General Motors-Holden's up to 10 minutes notice was given - or to initiate any constructive or meaningful discussions prior to such retrenchments becoming effective? ls the Minister aware that such workers have suffered up to $20 a week loss in pay? Further, is he aware that profits of General Motors-Holden's and Chryslers for the year 1969-70 were S27.8m and $7.2m respectively. In view of this position will he initiate an immediate inquiry to ascertain why, despite the fact that the tooling component is the largest single cost factor in car production, both companies, in the face of the huge decrease in costs and increase in profits, have failed to pass the benefit, to the consumer by reducing the prices of their vehicles?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member is now giving information. I suggest that he ask his question; otherwise I will have to request him to place it on notice.

Mr JACOBI (HAWKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I also ask: Why were tooling contracts given to Japan? Finally, will he undertake to speed up consideration by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission of the unions' log of claims, particularly the claim for implementation of the 35-hour week -


Mr JACOBI - I am asking a question.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! It is a long and involved question that is not suitable for answering at question time. The honourable member is requesting statistics and 1 do not think Ministers should be required to have all statistics in their heads at question time. I request the honourable member to place his question on the notice paper.

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