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Ford  Decision time: Ford workers at the Geelong and Campbellfield plants will vote on a new deal this Friday.

Decision time: Ford workers at the Geelong and Campbellfield plants will vote on a new deal this Friday.

Ford Australia union members asked to accept 12-month pay freeze in new agreement

UNION members at Ford Australia’s Victorian plants will vote on an enterprise agreement, which includes a 12-month pay freeze, this Friday.

Meetings will be held at Ford’s Geelong and Campbellfield factories, with members encouraged by union leaders to accept the three-year agreement that has taken more than six months to thrash out.

Ford Australia initially had pushed for a two-tier pay system under which new employees would be paid less than existing workers, but the union flatly refused it.

However, the 12-month pay freeze sought by the company has been included in the package to be put to the vote, but more than four months of that period has already passed as the agreement period started in July.

From July 2010, the hourly base rate would increase by $30, with another $30 increase in August 2011 and a further $20 increase in July 2012.

A range of other issues, including planning and logistics at its Victorian facilities, have all been resolved in the proposed agreement.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union national secretary Ian Jones told GoAuto that the agreement that would be presented to its members was a good one.

“It goes up for the vote with the unanimous support of the vehicle shop stewards,” he said.

“I think the agreement is a responsible agreement for very, very difficult times.”

Mr Jones said the agreement was good for workers as well as for Ford.

“When you analyse the outcome, in these times, it is quite remarkable,” he said.

Mr Jones would not be drawn on whether he thought the Ford workers would say yes to the deal on Friday.

“I’ve been around too long to second-guess that,” he said.

Ford center imageLeft: Ford Australia president Marin Burela.

Ford Australia president Marin Burela last week said he was confident workers would like the agreement.

“I have no reason to believe that this won’t get up,” he said.

“It is the right thing for our people, it is the right thing for Ford. It will give us the ability to build a foundation to move us forward, and as I have said, we are a brand on the move, we are making great progress but we also have to be mindful that we are coming out of a situation that we have never seen historically and we need to be very, very conscious of.”

Mr Burela said Ford and its workers would benefit from the approval of the agreement.

“It is a balanced agreement that I think meets everyone’s needs,” he said.

“If we can get this across the line it will be a great day for our people and a great day for our company.”


Ford  Decision time: Ford workers at the Geelong and Campbellfield plants will vote on a new deal this Friday.




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