The unions have notified Toyota that they plan to strike every Thursday and Friday for the next three weeks unless their demands for improved future pay rates are met. The unions have also placed a ban on overtime, beginning tomorrow, until a resolution is reached.
They have applied to Fair Work Australia as part of the continued industrial action.
Toyota Australia’s Laura Hill confirmed negotiations between the Altona-based manufacturer and the unions – headed by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union – would intensify today.
“We are getting to a pivotal point in terms of timing,” Ms Hill said. “We are hoping we can reach an agreement by close of business today.”
Ms Hill confirmed last Friday’s 24-hour strike – so far the industrial action’s only work stoppage – had an obvious impact on Toyota Australia and its workers, as well as its customers, dealers and suppliers. She said Toyota was aware that some employees at supplier plants were sent home on Friday because of the stop-work at Altona.
Ms Hill said the threatened strike action would have wide-reaching implications if it were to go ahead.
“The economic impact of that would be huge. Hopefully we can reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved."
Ms Hill said it was her understanding that Toyota Australia and the unions agreed on the overall terms of the future pay raises for employees, but were bogged down in the finer details of the agreement.
She said the offer of a seven per cent pay raise over two years plus bonuses was still on the table from Toyota, but was under negotiation today.
CarAdvice has contacted the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union for comment and will update the story when we hear more.
As we reported last week, the 3300-plus employees at the Altona production facility in Melbourne produce 559 Camry, Hybrid Camry and Aurion vehicles for domestic and export customers every weekday.
Each day on strike costs Toyota Australia approximately $8 million in lost revenue alone, and the added complication of further industrial action will almost certainly hit Australia’s number one manufacturer even harder.