Driving home a bargain …

During Labor’s watch Ford announced that it would cease manufacturing in Australia in 2016. Labor blamed the world economy.

Last year, Miss Gillard, with a little help from South Australia and Victoria, divvied up $275 million to ensure that Holden didn’t do the same thing. She was proud to say …

And the good news is that the future of General Motors is now secure in this country for the next decade.

and she concluded her speech with thanks all round including …

the union representatives who are here, people who represent a highly skilled workforce who have wanted to work with us to secure the future

Holden have announced that they will be bailing, not in ten but five years. This is no longer the fault of the world economy. Labor would now have it that it is Mr Abbott alone who is to blame.

How long before Toyota pull the pin? Could it have something to do with those wonderful unions working with them to secure the future …

The Toyota enterprise agreement lists its “purpose” as “to achieve TMCA’s success as a Global Company” yet no single business contract could guarantee its failure more. This document, as much as Holden’s, reflects an extraordinary level of union control over daily workplace organisation.

When Toyota wants to hire someone, a union (employee) representative must sit in every single job interview as “an observer”…. A table in the agreement sets out exactly how many union representatives the company has to have in every section of the workplace and 10 paid union training days a year is given to union reps.

Toyota is allowed to hire casuals only from “time to time” and not at all without union agreement, although agreement must not be “unreasonably withheld”. Casuals can perform only the “agreed specified tasks” for the “agreed specified period” mandated by the union. “The maximum period for which a Casual Employee can work continuously on a full-time basis is one month” and any casual around for six months must be made a permanent employee.

Contract labour can be hired only after Toyota reaches “agreement with the relevant Union official and Employee (union) Representative”. Contractors around for 12 months must be made permanent employees.

This means Toyota can never really have a hiring freeze but are continually bound to a destructive cycle of taking people on before eventually having to make them redundant….

Over-staffing must be a big problem because the agreement mandates one team leader to look after “between 5-7 process workers”. Supervisors, whose base rates range from $75,000 to $103,000, are forbidden from helping with workloads…

If Toyota needs to dismiss someone, an outrageous procedure of at least three years and three months continuous disciplinary action is required before dismissal can occur. This defies belief. Grace Collier. The Australian.

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