Facing what Holden says are ‘unprecedented economic challenges’, the brand today announced it has opened discussions with its workers and unions to drastically reduce labour costs.
This will mean pay cuts and more redundancies for Holden’s extensive workforce.
Holden says it is yet to offer any proposal to its employees, yet early, unfounded media reports suggest the move could costs workers up to $200 a week, or more than $10,000 a year.
“This is about giving Holden employees a direct say in their future,” said Mike Devereux. “We can’t survive as a local manufacturer if we’re not competitive and we don’t reduce our costs.”
The announcement comes just months after Ford revealed it will cease local manufacturing in 2016.
Devereux said labour costs are Holden’s biggest economic ‘penalty’ and added the brand is looking to reach a ‘fair and reasonable agreement’ with its work force.
“Every single possible option is on the table,” said Devereux. “But I must state Holden is committed and remains committed to building cars here. But we also recognise there is a need to improve our competitiveness on a global scale.”
Holden says it costs $3750 more to build a General Motors car in Australia than anywhere else in the world – a figure it says needs to be drastically reduced.
Holden is hoping to reach a resolution with its workers and unions by August, in time for the Federal election.
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