Approximately 3,200 workers at Toyota’s Altona manufacturing plant went on strike today, pushing for larger pay increases than Toyota Australia has been prepared to pay.
“The company is disappointed that industrial action is taking place. Toyota Australia values its employees and believes its offers have been fair and reasonable,” said a Toyota Australia statement provided to Manmonthly.com.au from the company’s media officer, Laura Hill.
“Toyota Australia continues to be willing to hold discussions with the Unions and employees to achieve an agreement.”
Workers are demanding a 4% raise each year for three years, as suggested by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).
Toyota Australia has offered 11% over 39 months. It has also offered the option for a 7 per cent increase over 2 years plus a bonus.
All offers were rejected by the Unions involved.
Members of the AMWU, along with the Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia were among the striking workers.
“Toyota Australia deeply regrets any inconvenience caused to its valued customers, suppliers and dealers who are impacted by this action,” Toyota Australia said in the statement.
The stoppage reportedly impacts the Altona manufacturing plant and Toyota Parts Centres in Melbourne and Sydney.
The strike is planned for the next 24 hours, affecting both the AM and PM shifts at the production facility.
Today’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.
Image: Toyota’s Altona plant, courtesy of Goauto.com.au