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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1467

Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - The question which Senator James McClelland raised seems to forget the purpose of an award. This clause relates to an inspection to ensure observance of award conditions applying to a factory. That is the sole purpose of the clause. If an officer of an organisation has not the right to question or look at time books of employees who are not members of the organisation it places members of the organisation in a position where they could be victimised because they are the only employees in the factory on whom there is a check to see that they are working under award conditions. The union official would not be able to check those who are not members of his organisation. So that situation is unacceptable. Those eligible to join an organisation will be performing an operation in a factory covered by the award, in a classification covered by the constitution of the union. For example, in a foundry there may be moulders, grinders and other employees who are either members of an organisation or who have the right to join an organisation which would cover everyone working in that classification. The object of policing the award and seeing, for example, that there are no underaward payments made in the factory is achieved in that way.

The Government would be prepared to accept the suggestion of Senator Little to include the words 'or eligible to be a member' after the word organisation'. Rather than go any further at this stage I seek some information from Senator Greenwood as to whether he is prepared to go that far in amending his amendment. The Government is not happy with the restriction that an officer duly authorised shall not hinder or obstruct an employee during the performance of his work during working time, because this immediately creates this fiction in the industry that the officer has come in there to do that. The Bill would be better without that provision. The Government has no intention of having union officials obstructing or stopping work. We are prepared to accept the amendment upon inclusion in it of the words suggested by Senator Little.

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