Yvonne Henderson

Yvonne Henderson

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    Opposition industrial relations policy slammed

    20/10/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    To describe the Federal Opposition's industrial relations proposals as a high-wage policy is a gross distortion of the truth, says Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson.
     
    "What the Opposition proposals are about is the destruction of the existing award system and the opportunity for employers to offer jobs to the lowest bidder," Mrs Henderson said.
     
    "The proposals will ensure that all awards expire on the anniversary of their establishment, to be replaced by individual contracts and collective agreements.
     
    "These proposals will lead to the demolition of the arbitration system and to the handing over of industrial relations to lawyers and expensive, time-consuming legal processes.
     
    "To pretend, as the Opposition proposals do, that employers and individual employees have equal bargaining power in negotiating contracts covering conditions of employment is a fraud."
     
    Mrs Henderson said the Opposition had signalled that it was abandoning working people by these proposals.
     
    "It is prepared to subject wages to market forces, which in realty means that jobs go to the lowest bidder.
     
    "It is a low-wage policy which will see reduced wages, lost penalty rates and other conditions of employment.
     
    "The basis of the Opposition proposals is to abandon the successful consensus approach to industrial relations adopted by the Government.
     
    "This has seen a reduction of up to 60 per cent in time lost as a result of industrial disputes.
     
    "The Opposition has abandoned consensus, it has abandoned consultation and a co-operative approach to industrial relations.
     
    "Instead, it has opted for the law of the jungle.
     
    "Working families will suffer a significant loss of earnings in the Conservatives' pursuit of their destructive goal."