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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 24. October 1, 1968

Warning by Shand

page 3

Warning by Shand

Photo of T. P. Shand, Minister of Labour

"Unless its leaders act with responsibility and accept the right of their minority groups to fair consideration, society will be forced to relinquish the freedoms which we believe are fundamental to democracy," said the Hon. T. P. Shand, Minister of Labour (left), recently.

This warning, addressed to the trade union movement, was, he said, the answer to the adaption by professional groups of the practice of militant trade unionism, in their own defence.

The great drawback against strikes had been its expense to those participating, but this disincentive had not been so apparent in professional occupations where a handful of people with specialised skills could "hold, not merely their employers, but the whole of society to ransom".

Mr. Shand was addressing the University National Club on "A Forward Look In Industrial Relations".

He said that in the past trade unions had been able to obtain as leaders, men of high intelligence who had been denied an opportunity for higher education and advancement into the more lucrative occupations in society.

These people had served trade unionism as a cause, but in the modern world trade unionism was becoming a business, a fact which the movement had to recognise.

In the future it would employ competent professional men at adequate rates of pay, to provide professional advice, he said.

"I hope that an increasing number of students, particularly in the social sciences, will be persuaded to carve out a career for themselves in the trade union movement."