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The launch of the new Toyota Camry could be delayed as a result of industrial action by Toyota Australia manufacturing and parts centre workers. Strike action has resumed today – the fourth down day this month – as company executives and union representatives continue to disagree over employee pay rates.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union spokesman David Smith confirmed the majority of workers had agreed not to work today or tomorrow, meaning the industrial action would stretch to at least five days without production.

Mr Smith said the AMWU had been in further discussions with Toyota Australia and the Fair Work Australia commission over the past week, but he admitted the negotiations “haven’t quite got us to where we want”.

He said Toyota’s latest offer to employees – which has been rejected by the unions – was an 11 per cent pay raise over 36 months with a revised increment structure. CarAdvice understands the new agreement sees the 11 per cent pay raise divided in four increases of two per cent, 2.5 per cent, and two more of 3.25 per cent over the coming 36 months.

The offer is an improvement over the company’s previous proposal of 11 per cent over 39 months, but still falls short of the unions’ original demands of 12 per cent over 36 months backdated to July 26 (the date that the previous agreement ended).

Toyota Australia has shifted its position the most in the negotiations so far, although Mr Smith admitted the unions were also willing to budge on their demands to reach an agreement.

“My mind has always been open,” he said. “It is not ‘we must have this’. There is a willingness to negotiate.”

Toyota Australia’s Glenn Campbell confirmed 555 employees showed up for work this morning, significantly more than the 400 that defied the strike on both Thursday and Friday last week.

Mr Campbell said today and tomorrow’s industrial action would mean total strike costs of $50 million in lost sales, 3300 vehicles in lost production, another $400 out of the hip pockets of Toyota employees, and more time out of work for up to 11,000 supplier employees.

Echoing the words of Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda, from last week, Mr Campbell said the industrial action continued to undermine Australia’s reputation as a reliable vehicle manufacturer.

The Altona facility was scheduled to cease vehicle production next week as the company converts equipment to be ready for production of the new seventh-generation Camry, but the strikes have forced those plans to change.

Toyota will run three single shifts next week in an attempt to catch up on lost production. Mr Campbell said Toyota Australia was committed to completing all orders for the run-out Camry model.

As a result, he said the launch of the new Camry – currently scheduled for November – could be pushed back, although he said at this stage it was difficult to speculate on how long the delay might be.

Now almost three weeks after the first 24-hour strike on September 2, Mr Campbell said Toyota Australia was keen to settle the dispute.

“We are eager to get an agreement and we continue to have discussions with our workers and the unions.”

The AMWU’s Mr Smith said he too was hopeful an agreement would be reached shortly, but admitted there was unlikely to be significant progress over the coming week due to the scheduled downtime at Altona.

What happens from here is still a little up in the air. Further strike action would require the unions to meet with their members again to agree on the next step to take. Mr Smith said he could not pre-empt whether the strikes were likely to continue.

He said an employee vote on wages, which he believed would be finalised around October 9/10, was likely to influence the way forward, if a resolution could not be reach before then.




  • TV Gamer

    (Street Fighter music in the background)…Round 2…Ready…Go!

  • Denso people

    Just take the money and work 10% slower…save a bit aside for term deposit to make up that 1%…u guys are hurting us!

    • Dave S

      How is this still going on?
      Toyota is Australia’s biggest car company.
      We know by their pricing they must have plenty of money.
      Now pay your workers and let them get back to work.

      • Damian

        Or just wind up its Australian operations and banish those militant workers to the Centrelink queue.

        • Monkey Head

          Apes in single….weak
          Apes together…strong!
          There is one over here!!! Go Apes! Bite him…hard!!!

          • Damian

            Apes together, unemployed… Centrelink… poverty.

          • Bemused

            Dude the apes are nearly extinct. What a fitting analogy.

      • Bemused

        Nah just let the unions keep digging their own grave. When theres no more manufacturing in Oz then there will be no more AMWU. At least theres one major positive in losing a whole sector of the economy.

        • Fair?

          Japanese back home! We dont want you here!

        • Paul

          Unions are the death of manufacturing here in Aus. Labour should be smart and stop the allowance of strikes. They should have a enquire into the manufacturing industry aye.

  • Tim

    It is the time that Toyota closes down its factory in Australia. This only increases more expenditure on Toyota.
    High salary, but less productivity in Australia.

    • Freddo

      Our awesome way of life and working conditions are due to things just like this Tim.

    • http://NSSAN James Cortez

      you bet!. My financial advice to Toyota: Pull out of Australia and relocate to Thailand or even Bangladesh (Bangladesh labor is cheaper than China, Average US $ 46 / month versus US $ 100 in china for textile worker)as you will gain much more in the medium and long term. Australia labor is too expensive, spoiled and too many union regulations. Then you n longer have to put up with sicky, smoko, compo etc.

      Let those labors find other jobs and see if they can earn as much. It will teach them a lesson as well. After all in pure capitalism, you make more profit manufacturing your car in the third world

      • Frenchie

        More like exploitation!

        • James Cortez

          Yes i am…i love child worker~

  • Jober As A Sudge

    Delay launch of the Camry huh?! At least some good news comes out of this strike!

    • Image

      So if you say it’s good news, then you’re basically saying to the suppliers who’s major income comes from manufacturing companies like Toyota to F themselves and starve. Regardless of how you see the finished product.

      • Monk

        Don’t worry, they’ll still make millions of Camrys for people who hate life… just a short delay.

        • bert

          And let me guess you drive a barina spark??

          • Monk

            No pumpkin – I bought a real car. Australian. Performance. Large. Slightly bogan – and proud. I did my bit for the local economy (and the global oil producers). You?

          • Pete

            bert drives a beetle, he calls it bertie beetle

      • Vwr32

        say goodbye to manufacturing in Australia! Sad but true.

    • bert

      Its guys like you that make me ashamed to be Australian not only would you be a bogan camira driver but are also dumb as!

      Manufacturing in australia needs 3 major car brands not 2 if Toyota pulls out it would only be a matter of time before you say goodbye to Ford & Holden as well and if holden did stay you would be paying a premuim for them as the parts suppliers would have to charge more due to lower volume & profits!

      I HOPE YOU ARE PROUD ABOUT YOUR STUPID STATEMENT!

      • what a croc

        So you reckon if Holden was the last one here, the suppliers would raise prices, and then Holden would too. Holden dont have any pricing power on its current australian made cars. If they did, they would raise prices and stop sucking off the government handouts. the y had to raise cruze prices when they started locally making them, and currently its the worst and most expensive out of it, the mazda 3, lancer and I30. Not to mention that out of the 6600 cruzes and commodores made each month, roughly 4000 of them are going to fleets etc, that Holden sell to, just to achieve factory output. Holden doesnt have to wait for others to fold to be a basket case, it already is.

      • Monk

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for Toyota continuing to produce – go crazy! Make as many cars as you like. Jobs, money, happiness.

        We have to admit though – their cars don’t exactly raise the pulse

  • AR

    I bet Toyota is now thinking of moving the factory out of Aust.

    • Steve the “Keyboard Hero”

      They’re updating their Australian engine plant to support the New Camry. What does that tell you?

      They’re just trying to save some coin. A 4% raise per annum is hardly unreasonable, would you accept less for yourself?

      • Andrew M

        4% is unreasonable when its not justified.

        What is unreasonable it the point that the unions arent trying to meet in the middle.
        Toyota has had a few goes at moving its peg forward butthe unions are too busy acting like hit men

        • Steve the “Keyboard Hero”

          Not justified? Is inflation justified, or the increased cost of housing or rent?

          The sad thing is if the MD or CEO of an organisation is given a multi-million dollar raise it goes unnoticed, but if a worker asks for the bare minimum everyone wants to kick up a stink. Just mention the word union and everyone thinks the worst, pathetic.

          • Andrew M

            Toyotas offer is inline with inflation, thats why I say the 4% they are asking for isnt justified.

            Are you saying 3.7% isnt enough??

            They sacrifice 4 or 5 days pay which is more lost money than if they just accepted the Toyota offer.

            People dont think the worst of unions, they KNOW the worst of unions.

            The Unions font want to back down because they will look weak to the people who pay union fees. The Unions only play hard ball to justify their own existence.
            Add up all the unions fees, pluss loss of pay when a strike takes place and the workers would be better off with out them

          • Steve the “Keyboard Hero”

            You do realise the inflation rate can change over a 3 year period, right? After a contract is signed the union can’t go back and ask for more.

            I think you want to agree with me, come on its not too hard.

      • what the??

        yes i would in the current climate. you must be a union official or rep. too knowledgeable to be uninvolved; this article didn’t even mention any engine plant. trying to balance out the blogs because they are predominantly pointing out how out of touch with reality you are????

        • Steve the “Keyboard Hero”

          Yeah, cause blogs are filled with rational people making rational comments lol.

          Sorry if my opinion doesn’t match yours, not everyone can be a follower. No vested interest here, just calling it as I see it.

          • Damian

            Toyota has the Australian government by the b@lls. The Australian Government have been handing out subsidies to Toyota like candy bars, to the extent that Toyota Australia’s survival has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The taxpayer will end up footing the bill for any pay increase.

  • http://caradvice.com.au Ben

    Man that thing in ugly, looks like some backyard fast and furious job.

    • Toy-yo-ta driver

      Not a bad looking car…have you check out that two big bottle in the back seat?

      • Kyle Busch

        I love Nascar and the Toyota Camry is an awsome machine!! Suck your stick No.48~~

        • JD

          seriously, cars going in circles

    • bert

      What like your 4 cyl skyline RICER BOY!

      • Jober As A Sudge

        Easy Bert! Why all the hate? Toyota make sensible, reliable cars…no one questions that. However, i’m one of those people who likes driving cars and therefore a Camry just won’t cut it

  • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

    Bugger

  • TNT

    Can i have a say? I M NOT HAPPY!!!!

  • Simon

    The factory workers should be proud they will probably cause Toyota to go overseas and outsource more Australian jobs, leaving them with nothing. Probably end up in the dole queue, and complain they aren’t being paid enough there too.

  • davie

    the unions should look up the phrase “Pyrrhic Victory”.

    Massive GFC #2 storm clouds are currently gathering in USA and Europe, incase they didn’t notice.

    Holden recently admitted that GFC#1 was very difficult to ride out.

    Companies like Toyota have a 5 and 10 year plan. which is being decided now. I would be very surprised if shutting down local operations was not being considered as an option.

    The next GFC and this strike could give them exactly the excuse they need.

  • http://Zuboora.com Mohamad is right when he says

    Delay on new whitegoods being released.. :(
    This will effect all new home builders.

    • BangBngBg

      Lol shu moey do u come here often

      • http://zuboora.com mohamad is right when he

        yallah call the cousins habib

  • someone who cares

    What I can see is that Toyota Australia Management don’t care if they went overseas , they are loosing more then pay the worker a bit more

    Just another company that is run be bad management as I don’t recall seeing Toyota worker going on strike until now

    • What the??

      11% is not a little. I havent had a pay rise for ages. I dont get paid overtime. And even though I have two degrees i reckon I probably get paid less than some of these workers.

      Good to see 555 turned up today. By my count is toyota has 3300 in altona, over 2 shifts, thats 1150 per shift. That means half have shown up.

      I feel sorry for the workers. Seems a handful of union reps with big egos and small brains holding them all to ransom. Vote in new reps I say.

      • mmmmm

        you obviously work in the real world with the rest of us. These spoilt union brats are living in a bubble that could burst very easily.
        If (when) there is another GFC toyota will head to Thailand and these workers will head to the dole office, probably still moaning.
        The union officials have a lot to answer for

        • Bangel

          Well what can we say when our lefty labor/green govt lets these fools flex their muscles again like the 70′s.

          Just when things get tough they go nutty , remember the british car industry and how the loony unions buried that .

      • Andrew M

        Thats right What the,
        many people havent had a pay rise in years and dont get paid over time with many extra allowances etc.

        The Toyota workers need to get a reality check

      • what a croc

        May i recommend you go for a third degree in accounting. 3300/ 2 = 1650 people per shift. But lets not stop there, if you did another degree in factual analysis, you would find out that toyota only produce on one shift. Thus if 555 turned up out of 3300, then only approx. 1/6th of the employees showed up.

        You probably have had recent pay rises, but arent able to do the sums to work it out.

        • What the??

          Good point, i got it wrong, Thats because, unlike some people, I was at WORK yesterday and wrote that hurriedly.

          It’s worth pointing out though that potentially much more than the 1/6th you claim turned up so if you’re going to slam someone elses math you should really ensure your own is beyond reproach. Even if what you say is right (ie the 2nd shift doesn’t produce any cars at all??) and you seem to be in the know so you must work there (degree in factual analysis doesn’t beat insider information); the 2nd shift would not be starting in the morning so without knowing the split of day v night shifters the denominator would not be 3300 and if there was an even split it could be 1/3.

          I assure you I have not had pay rises since GFC.

          Squabbling aside -> i just read Herald Sun etc and note theres going to be a vote. Whats your take on outcome of this??

          • Child

            2% paid rise is around 20 bucks a week…haha if i work in there i wound not mind that $20 dollar…is more fun to put a statement to the company! 50-60k job not hard to get…good luck for those six figures salary office people.

  • Harry

    noooooooooooo, what are we going to do????

    Good news, I have found someone willing to take my Camry off my hands. Now all I have to worry about on the drive into work is ever increasing congestion, the police state, and arriving at work. Owning a camry will take a long time to recover from, I may never fully recover.

  • Not greedy Jim

    Greedy union scum at it’s best again. When Toyota pulls out of Oz and thousands of workers are out of work, only then will you be happy. Unions represent 8% of the electrate, and not the 550 who showed up for work. Unios destroyed Britians car manufacturing, you’re doing it here now.

    • mmmmm

      and unions sent US car manufactures broke.

      No one else has had a big pay rise since the GFC

      • Frenchie

        Just CEO’s!

    • http://NSSAN James Cortez

      Remember Detroit! Union only brought trouble to the US auto industry, likewise to Toyota Australia!

      • James Cortez

        Union sucks! I love slave, boat people and dogs!

        • james cortez

          Toyota should move the factory to africa…just employ child labor, anyone who refuse to work 18 hrs/day will be beaten up and drag to feed dogs! Just like where i work here we dont need middle class…stupid country like Australia should really learn from Saudi Arabia and Russia!

  • Clem

    Toyota – Please close the plant like Mitsubishi closed their plant in South Australia and move to Thailand or China. Problem SOLVED.
    Toyota Workers – Go and get some money from your beloved UNION and praise for their effort to get rid of Toyota. Next Target – Holden and Ford.

    • Cdub

      I reccon the union should pay their dole if Toyota pulls out cause I don’t want to support someone that throws away their job and industry.

  • HJP

    Just wait until Toyota Australia decides to move the manufacturing out of Australia and I was interested to see these greedy unions crying for losing their good paying jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1715760895 Charles Dean

    If Toyota closes their Australian operation.. It could significantly hurt the Australian economy..

    • Clem

      UNION, are you listening? You are hurting Australia Economy.
      UNION said: &*&% @. So what! What are you going to do about it? I want TOYOTA out of Australia. That is our Plan. The next Target is Holden Daewoo. Henry Ford is having bad sales with their Falcon so can’t be bother at this stage.
      UNION: Beware Holden Daewoo! I’m watching you.

      • Fair?

        Why doesn’t the company tell people the truth, most of the 550 that turned up to work are contractors on 6 months contracts with a clause that states that if they don’t show up to work, even during strike action, they can be sacked. How can management, who are mostly on 6 figure incomes, tell the workers a 2% pay rise is fair while the cost of living rises by 4% a year?

  • http://hilly78@bigpond.com.au Cobra

    Thank those dam unions..

    • http://hilly78@bigpond.com.au Cobra

      Thank those dam unions

  • Not greedy Jim

    Toyota Japan now knows Australia is an unreliable source of supply. Thanks UNION, you not only have hurt Toyota you are hurting Holden and Ford. You disgusting maggots.
    Did Toyota withhold you paychecks? No. But you instead went on strike, stopped production and have now jepodised thousands of jobs. I hope you’re proud when Toyota says “Enough”. Thanks for helping to destroy the Oz car industry.

    • Cdub

      I agree. The jobs at Toyota aren’t the only ones affected. The flow on effect in the economy is hurt also if Toyota pulls out. If hurt, the Oz car industry won’t recover ever, in my opinion.

  • Steve

    Its like the unions on the waterfront. Continued demands for higher wages means higher % of commissions back to the unions to result in higher profits and higher bonuses to the scum running them. They are a profit centre like any other business and dont care one iota of the consequences and yes like the British car and shipping industries were killed off. Now all the maggott unions thugs are here in Oz looking for opportunities to wield their axes and do the same and hide behind the veil of protectionism for workers. Then we get the red headed idiot letting them do as they please b4 she gets kicked out of office – notice the coincidence of timing here.

  • Ron

    Well a few more fine Toyota products that will not stop on the road might not be a bad thing.

  • Cdub

    Hey! Look at the current economic climate! Times aren’t good in the car market. I’d be happy to hold a job in these times and hit Toyota up for a pay rise when times are better.

  • Finanial news reporter

    Hey! Look at the current exchange rate! $0.97 to USD (23/9/2011)..Times are good for export car market! I’d be happy to hold a job these times and hit Toyota for a pay rise NOW!

    • Worker

      Thats rigtht! Company always say the dollar is too high rarara…now the dollar is down…paid us NOW!

      • Andrew M

        The dollar is still up from its 60 cent days.
        These exporters didnt gear their production around 97cUSD, it was far less than this when these programs were set up

  • maple leaf

    Even the Germans think Toyota is the most reliable! I will be damned.

    http://www.theautoindustrieblog.com/2011/01/toyota-and-mazda-are-most-reliable-cars.html

  • Pete

    I support the workers, if Toyota can’t pay their workers a fair pay rise for loyalty and support not to mention helping to make Toyota No. 1 in this country then they don’t deserve loyalty in return. Toyota always cry poor in situations like this but they are one of the richest companies in the world.

  • Zhang

    toyota close aust shop and send to china we make for cheap

  • Navy

    We will fight Japanese until the last drop of blood!

  • Richard

    Hahahah! what on Earth? That first Picture looks like something Toyota designed in the 70′s!! please tell me its not the new camry! I guess they’re taking Fords advise, make a good looking car and then ruin it 2 years later with some hideous facelifts..