PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3233


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 02/05/1974

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3233

PRIME MINISTER Press Statement No. 245
2 May 1974
The Australian Government warmly applauds the decision of the
Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to bring the minimum wage for
women under Federal awards up to the level of that determined for men.
This is a significant step forward in the application of the
principle of economic remuneration for work of equal value to the award
wage structure of this country.
The Labor Government has consistently supported the adoption of
this basic human rights principle. This is an indication of the Labor
Government's consistent support for wage justice for women. It supported
the principle of equal pay for work of equal value when it sought
successfully to re-open the National Wage and Equal Pay Cases immediately
on coming to office in December 1972.
It applied the principle immediately to its own female employees
rather than phasing it in over two and a half years as allowed by the
Commission in that case.
It amended the Conciliation and Arbitration Act to delete the
discriminatory reference to a minimum wage for adult males.
It strongly supported the ACTU application for an equal minimum
wage for women.
Today's decision by the Commission is a further significant step
to the Government's goal of ratifying the International Labor Organisation-A
Equal Pay Convention ( No. 100) of 1951. There is now full compliance with
the requirements of the Convention in those areas where the Australian
Government can take action.
Three States Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania have
agreed to ratification, and consultation is continuing as a matter of
urgency with the other three States to obtain their agreement to
ratification without delay. Convention No. 100 is the only I. L. O.
human rights convention which Australia has yet to ratify, and the
Australian Government is treating its early ratification as a matter of
top priority to confirm at the international level Australian acceptance
of basic human rights for women.
BACKGROUND: The Prime Minister is expected to make a fuller comment
on the wage decision later today.

Transcript 3233