Workers at Holden's remaining South Australian and Victorian sites have joined their Adelaide-based colleagues in voting to accept the proposed changes to the enterprise bargaining agreement.
With the rest of the workforce voting ‘yes’ by a “strong majority” according to the company, focus now shifts to the result of the federal election on September 7 and the government support that will flow from that.
Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux thanked the workers for their “loyalty and flexibility” in accepting the revised pay deal, which is set to save the company about $15 million per year.
“Changes like this are never easy and the ‘yes’ vote is a huge commitment from the hard-working men and women of our Holden team,” Devereux said.
“We can’t survive as a local manufacturer unless we reduce our costs by being as efficient and globally competitive as possible.
“There are some tough measures in this variation but the unions and our people recognise this difficult situation and have responded in kind.”
Despite securing a commitment from the workers, Devereux said Holden would wait to hold discussions with whichever party wins next month’s election before confirming if it will continue with its plan to build next-generation Commodore and Cruze vehicles until 2022.
“We are clearly producing the types of cars that Australians want to buy,” said Mr Devereux.
“But Holden has to be globally competitive and so does the country’s industry policy. As a local manufacturer, Holden is asking for a fair go. Australia must be able to compete fairly on the world stage.
“We need clear, consistent and globally competitive government policy to help secure a long-term future for automotive manufacturing.”