Australian workers deserve civil debate on nation's economic future

26 April 2018

It is pathetic that the only response from the union movement to the critical debate about growing the Australian economy is to intimidate and bully witnesses at a Senate inquiry.

Business Council of Australia President Grant King and Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Westacott expressed disappointment today that the union members who staged a heavy-handed protest which disrupted the inquiry in Melbourne were only interested in division and engaging in cheap stunts.

“It is clear the union movement is not interested in talking through the issues and instead wants to bully, intimidate and shout people down,’’ Mr King and Ms Westacott said.

“Their behaviour demonstrates the weakness of the union movement’s arguments.’’

The rowdy and loud demonstration by a large gang of men dressed in black union t-shirts and baseball caps standing over witnesses is reminiscent of union thuggery in the 1970s and has no place in a modern economy that competes on a global stage.

“Intimidating, bullying and shouting down witnesses during a Senate inquiry will not stop employers fighting to grow the economy for all Australians,’’ Mr King and Ms Westacott said.

“Instead of contributing to the debate, these union protesters prefer to sneer at the people who create jobs, create thriving communities, export, innovate and invest.’’

“Their response to this important national debate about encouraging more investment, delivering more jobs and higher wages demonstrates the union movement continues to put self-interest above working Australians.’’

The Business Council is calling for all sides to engage in a mature and fact-based debate to achieve the best outcomes for the nation including Australian businesses of all sizes, workers and shareholders.

“We came prepared with the facts and evidence and our member companies are happy to contribute to the debate,’’ Mr King and Ms Westacott said.

“This union protest is nothing more than a cheap stunt designed to steal headlines and distract attention from the substance of the Senate inquiry and the benefits that will flow from a more competitive company tax rate,’’ Mr King and Ms Westacott said.

“The evidence is clear that a company tax cut for all businesses will boost investment and grow wages, and the Senate deserves to hear that.’’



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