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Strikes at record lows.

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Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business 16 October 2001

STRIKES AT RECORD LOWS Industrial dispute figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm that strikes in Australia are at record low levels under the Howard Coalition Government.

The ABS has reported that in July 2001 48 working days were lost to strikes per thousand employees. In the 12 months to July 2001 there has been 51% decrease in the number of working days lost due to strikes.

Under the Howard Coalition government working days lost due to strikes have reached their lowest levels since records were first kept in 1913.

So far in calendar year 2001 an average of 50 working days per thousand employees have been lost to strikes.

This compares to the average of 195 working days per thousand employees lost to strikes during the life of the previous Labor government - including when Mr. Beazley was Employment Minister.

Strikes in Australia are now more than three times lower than under Labor.

In these uncertain times, when it is so important to keep our economy strong, we must put Australia’s interests first by keeping strikes at these low levels. Fewer strikes means higher productivity, higher living standards, and an international trading reputation that Australians can be proud of.

The Howard Coalition will keep Australia’s strike record low with our focus on co-operative workplace bargaining, secret ballots before strikes, stronger trade practices laws against secondary boycotts and applying the rule of law equally to union officials.

Coast to coast Labor governments will see a return to the pre 1996 days of record strikes.

Mr. Beazley has already promised to exempt union officials (but no other Australians) from sections 45D and 45E of the Trade Practices Act, allowing union secondary boycotts to block the supply of goods and services to businesses.

Mr. Beazley has also promised to allow unions to take strike action against all employers across an industry - giving unions the power to close an industry down at the one time.

Strikes cost jobs. Labor’s industrial relations rollback threatens the jobs and job security of working Australians, and the Australian national interest.


For further information: Simone Holzapfel 0417 656 668