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Abbott foot firmly in his mouth.

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Arch Bevis - Abbott Foot Firmly In His Mouth Tuesday, 07 August 2001

Abbott Foot Firmly In His Mouth Arch Bevis - Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

Media Statement - 6 August 2001

Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Arch Bevis said today that the actions by Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott, in the TriStar dispute show his lack of understanding of the basic issues facing Australian workers.

"At no time since the TriStar dispute commenced has Tony Abbott behaved as an honest broker by trying to help find a solution - it seems that Tony Abbott has merely opened his mouth to change feet. Every comment he has made has been designed to incite further an already tense situation.

"In an inflammatory and offensive statement he said that the workers who have been undertaking legal industrial action are guilty of 'treason'. He then urged the company not to compromise or try to reach any agreement with the union.

"Since last Friday the employers and the unions involved in the dispute at TriStar have met and each side has made concessions in an attempt to reach a compromise that will resolve the current dispute.

"Tony Abbott has jumped into this dispute as a combatant. His comments are acting to further inflame an already difficult situation. As Minister he should be seeking to assist in the resolution of the dispute - not acting as a provocative spoiler - these comments do nothing to assist the parties resolve this dispute.

"On a regular basis Tony Abbott gets up in front of business audiences and claims that he knows less about industrial relations than anyone else in the room. His comments in recent days prove this beyond a doubt," said Mr Bevis. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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