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by Tim Beissmann

UPDATE: Toyota Australia employees will be breaking the law if they choose to strike tomorrow instead of work their usual shifts.

The Altona-based manufacturer applied to Fair Work Australia to suspend the planned industrial action on the basis of economic harm, following unsuccessful negotiations with the unions that continued until 9pm last night.

Toyota Australia insisted further work stoppages would hurt customers, dealers, and suppliers, and would also have wider negative consequences for the Australian automotive industry.

A Fair Work Australia commissioner today ruled in favour of Toyota Australia, meaning any strike action tomorrow by the 3300-plus production workers would be considered illegal.

Toyota Australia’s Laura Hill said the country’s number one vehicle manufacturer expected the workforce to heed the commissioner’s ruling and work as normal tomorrow and Friday.

The threatened industrial action orchestrated by the unions planned stop-works for the next three Thursdays and Fridays and a ban on overtime until an agreement on employee pay raises was reached.

Toyota Australia’s latest offer to workers is an 11 per cent pay increase over 39 months – the same amount offered last week, although with some amendments to the timing and the specific increments offered for each year.

The ruling means Toyota Australia’s output should be unaffected for the rest of the week, with 1118 Camry, Hybrid Camry and Aurion vehicles scheduled for production over the next two days.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has been contacted for its reaction to Fair Work Australia’s ruling. We will update the story when we hear more.




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