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Secret ballots for strikes a sensible step

Media statement Thursday, May 10, 2012

Secret ballots for strikes a sensible step

The passing of the law requiring unions to conduct a secret ballot of their members before going on strike is a welcome step, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

"Virtually every time there is a strike the employers finds individual union members telling them they don't support it and would prefer to work," Mr Lowe said.

"A few outspoken people can make it appear there is strong worker support for a strike when in fact there may not be.

"Quite a few unions, such as the Engineers Union already conduct secret ballots so this law change really only affects a few unions like the Maritime Union which have resisted them.

"While it will still be a year before secret ballots become mandatory, and two years before unions must change their rules, employers will expect them to be carried out for every relevant occasion from now on."

ends

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