Opposition leader backs businesses to speak up on social issues

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-18 10:07:37|Editor: Wu Qin
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CANBERRA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP)'s leader Anthony Albanese has sided with corporate Australia by supporting the right of businesses to speak up on social issues.

Albanese, the leader of the Opposition, said in a speech to the Business Council of Australia (BCA) on Wednesday that "most successful businesses operate in ways that reflect the values of their employees and their customers."

He made the speech several days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged businesses to focus on "core" issues such as productivity and industrial relations rather than social causes.

A survey of 3000 people released by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) recently found that about 80 percent of Australians believe corporate leaders should speak up on social issues.

"You are not just takers of profit. You see yourselves as part of the community," Albanese said on Wednesday, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The speech has been described as an attempt by Albanese to rebuild ties with corporate Australia.

Because of its close ties to the trade union movement, the ALP has rarely sided with the BCA, which comprises chief executives of more than 100 corporations.

Albanese's predecessor, Bill Shorten, frequently attacked the "top end of town" in the lead-up to the general election on May 18, which Labor lost despite opinion polls projecting a comfortable victory.

He said that both politicians and businesses are suffering from a "steady erosion" of public trust.

"We all have to work out how to solve this growing deficit of trust," Albanese said.

"Business is working this out and is already working to address it. The government might not get it, but Labor does."