Unions reject Toyota pay offer

Production at Toyota Australia’s Altona plant will go ahead today and Friday after unions rejected the automotive manufacturers 11% pay increase over 39 months.

Toyota and worker’s unions attended Fairwork Australia on Tuesday with negotiations continuing to 9pm in an effort to reach an agreement.

However, Toyota’s offer of an 11% increase over 39 months with varied spilt of an initial 2% rise, followed by 2.5%, then 3% and subsequently 3.5% rise was rejected by unions yesterday, reportedly on the percentage split.

Manufacturers’ Monthly suspects that the unions were looking to again a higher percentage increase earlier rather than at the back end of the 39 month period.

With concerns that industrial action may take place today and Friday, following the union’s rejection of the proposed 11% increase, Toyota lodged an urgent application with Fairwork Australia yesterday to suspend industrial action today and tomorrow.

Fairwork Australia granted an interim suspension of all industrial action at the Altona plan for today and Friday because the car maker was able to prove that further industrial action today and Friday will have significant economic effect for the company as well as the Australian automotive industry, including suppliers and dealers who work or deal with the Toyota brand.

Toyota workers resumed their work per usual at the plant today.

Toyota Australia’s Lauren Hill said that the automotive maker is disappointed that an agreement hasn’t been able to be reached but confirmed that it will continue to hold discussions with employees and unions in a bid to reach an agreement.

The company will not be releasing an official statement but says that all its pay offers have been fair and reasonable, considering the operating conditions at its plant and the state of Australia’s manufacturing sector at the moment.

The negotiations follow on from the 24-hour strike at the Altona plant last Friday, which saw approximately 3,200 Toyota workers stop work in a bid to secure better pay.

Toyota lost production of 500 cars due to the strike last week. It is estimated that Friday’s strike cost Toyota Australia around $8 million in lost revenue.

Toyota did not confirm this amount but stated that revenue lost was in the millions.