Production workers at the Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne will strike for 24 hours, beginning at 7am on Friday. The industrial action is likely to cost Toyota Australia $8 million in lost revenue.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) is pushing for four per cent pay increases for each year over the next three years, but Toyota Australia has fallen short of the mark, offering 11 per cent over 39 months.
Toyota Australia’s Laura Hill confirmed the carmaker was notified about the AMWU’s intention to strike last Friday.
Ms Hill said Toyota had been talking with the AMWU throughout the week but said a resolution had still not been reached.
She said a number of other unions were also involved in the strike, and confirmed negotiation talks were ongoing, with an aim to ideally reach a resolution before tomorrow’s planned industrial action.
The AMWU is expected to hold a work meeting with the production employees tomorrow to discuss the terms of the negotiations and decide whether it will take further industrial action.
Toyota Australia’s Altona plant operates seven days a week over AM and PM shifts. Vehicle assembly is conducted between Monday and Friday, while the weekends are generally reserved for maintenance and overtime work.
With the plant currently operating at full capacity, production is running at a rate of about 9000 vehicles per month. With around 22 vehicle production days in every month, tomorrow’s strike will put an approximate 400-vehicle dent in Toyota Australia’s September production.
Last financial year, Toyota Australia generated $1.4 billion from exports of the Camry and produced more than 25,000 Camry and Aurion vehicles for the Australian market (at an average of $30,000 each, that’s $750 million for the year).
All up, that’s around $2 billion per year, and given there are 250 vehicle production days each year, the approximate cost of tomorrow’s strike for Toyota Australia will be around $8 million.