The strike at Holden’s engine plant in Melbourne will stretch to a fourth day after disgruntled workers voted to walk off the job again today.
Between 150 and 200 workers at the Fishermans Bend site in Port Melbourne voted to strike on Thursday and Friday in support of around 30 colleagues who face forced redundancy with reduced payouts.
A meeting between Holden and the unions at the Fair Work Commission on Sunday failed to reach a resolution, leading Holden’s Victorian workforce to initiate another two-day strike spanning today and tomorrow.
The workers will return to the plant on Wednesday morning when they will again vote on whether to continue the strike or return to work.
Holden is showing no signs of softening its stance, calling on the Fair Work Commission to take action to order striking employees back to work.
“Holden is disappointed employees and the unions have continued this unlawful strike action after concerted efforts by the company to resolve the matter through Fair Work Australia,” the company said in a statement.
“Holden has presented an offer that is more than fair and reasonable for the automotive industry.
“Holden has applied to the Fair Work Commission for an order that employees end this unlawful action and return to work.”
Fairfax reports the strike at the engine plant could start to impact production at Holden’s vehicle assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia as early as tomorrow as stock starts to run low.
The dispute arose after Holden failed to find 100 workers who were prepared to take a voluntary redundancy.
Unlike the 70 employees who agreed to voluntary redundancy packages, the 30-odd workers facing forced redundancy only stand to receive a maximum payout of 52 weeks, regardless of how long they have worked with the company.
The fourth day of the strike will coincide with a meeting between representatives from the Federal Government, the unions, and the local car makers and parts suppliers, though Fairfax reports Holden has elected not to send any factory workers to the talks.
Holden’s future currently hangs on the findings of a Productivity Commission review into the Australian automotive manufacturing industry, with the Federal Government likely to wait for the release of the final report due in March before locking in the details of a co-investment deal for the future.