Toyota production on hold as result of strike

Production at Toyota Australia’s Altona vehicle manufacturing plant was interrupted on Friday due to union members taking protected industrial action in the form of a 24-hour stoppage.

Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia were involved in the strike, which took place after wage increases could not be agreed on.

Toyota confirmed that the stoppage impacted the Altona manufacturing plant and Toyota Parts Centres in Melbourne and Sydney. Approximately 3,200 workers were involved in the strike.

“The company had offered a wage increase proposal of 11 per cent over 39 months in late July and yesterday following the Unions’ request, offered three options for a 7 per cent increase over 2 years plus a bonus. All offers were rejected by the Unions,” said the company.

“Toyota Australia deeply regrets any inconvenience caused to its valued customers, suppliers and dealers who are impacted by this action.

“The company is disappointed that industrial action is taking place. Toyota Australia values its employees and believes its offers have been fair and reasonable.

“Toyota Australia continues to be willing to hold discussions with the Unions and employees to achieve an agreement.”

Friday’s strike is expected to cost Toyota Australia $8 million in lost revenue.

The Altona plant produces the 4-cylinder Camry, Hybrid Camry, and 6-cylinder Aurion models. More than 3300 employees build 559 cars per day, for domestic and export customers. Toyota Australia produced more than 119,000 vehicles in 2010. The Melbourne and Sydney Parts Centres distribute Toyota parts and accessories nationally.

Meanwhile, Manmonthly.com.au reported yesterday that Toyota Australia has hired approximately 40 new starters to work on the production of the newly-launched seventh-generation Camry, which will be manufactured at its Altona’s plant in the Melbourne, Victoria.

The automotive manufacturer says approximately 2,200 direct employees will be involved in the production of the seventh-generation Camry, inclusive of the 40 new starters who will work across all vehicle manufacturing processes.