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Holden workers to vote on a pay freeze to save Adelaide plant

August 3, 2013 • News

1,700 workers at Holden’s Elizabeth plant will be asked next Friday to accept a three-year pay freeze and lower conditions to help the car maker save $15 million a year. If they reject the deal, Holden will be forced to shut down its operations.

Image credit: Flickr user @begbieimages

Image credit: Flickr user @begbieimages

John Camillo of the Federation of Vehicle Industry Unions said the workers’ future in Holden will be based on how they vote next week.

“Holden has made it quite clear that if the workers reject the variation they have decided to close the operation down in 2016,” Camillo said on ABC News.

According to the report the Union has said they will not support the offer unless Holden talks to the workers, but it has no doubt that the threat of the company closing its operations is real. The Union has already turned down the prospect of a ten percent pay cut, but agreed to consider the three year pay freeze.

“There’s no plan B in this one. The workers will make a decision on August 9 and if it’s a no the company will close,” said Camillo.

The recent developments come after manufacturing expert Professor Goran Roos released the findings of his independent investigation into Holden’s books, in which he found that Holden cannot produce cars at a profit.

Holden has previously said that it costs $3750 more to manufacture a car in Australia now than it does in other GM factories.

However a vote to accept will not necessarily mean a secured future for Holden. The company is still seeking a cash injection from the Federal Government, according to ABC News, before the General Motors board in Detroit makes a final decision next month.

Last week, Industry Minister Senator Kim Carr has announced to delegates of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union that the Labor Government will stand behind industry modernization through co-investment, with $285 million already committed to Holden.

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