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Friday, 26 May 1972
Page: 2206

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) - I want to refer briefly to what were the basic complaints of the 9 members of the Australian Labor Party who spoke in the second reading debate and gave very good reasons for refusing to pass this legislation. The Labor Party voted against the second reading of the Bill and intends to vote against the third reading. We do not agree with the proposed legislation, but especially at this stage we are pointing to what Senator Turnbull states to be the hypocrisy of the Government in providing for one classification an increase of $4,400 a year, or $84 a week, with great retrospectivity, while at the same time bringing in a Bill to stop trade unions settling their wage claims in concert with the employers.

Only this morning Senator Wright, as Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, in answering a question pointed out that the president of the metal trades industries group, the main employer group, said: 'We intend to deal with the trade unions and to make agreements'. That is substantially what he said. But this Bill is designed to restrict as far as possible the trade unions meeting on common ground with the employer to settle disputes or to agree on hours of work. All the prohibitions possible are being imposed by this Government on this activity. What is the reason for it?

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