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Ford’s Australian plants back at work

Back to work: 1800 Ford employees temporarily stood down as parts from supplier CMI dried up can now return to the Geelong and Broadmeadows factories.

Geelong and Broadmeadows plants back to work as stricken Ford supplier CMI reopens

Ford logo1 May 2012

FORD Australia has confirmed that production workers will go back to work at its Geelong and Broadmeadows facilities tomorrow following a closedown forced by the collapse of parts supplier CMI.

Production lines building the Falcon and Territory were halted on Thursday when Ford ran out of parts supplied by CMI’s Campbellfield factory, where workers had been locked out for a week by the site’s landlord, who took action over a rent dispute.

CMI – which went into administration on Thursday – reopened on Monday after receivers launched federal court proceedings in a bid to obtain the factory keys.

The landlord agreed to hand them over just prior to the scheduled hearing at 3pm on Friday.

Monday was a scheduled rostered day off but Ford had to stand down 1800 workers on Friday and Tuesday, bringing forward two scheduled down days so that workers would be paid 50 per cent, with most topping that up using annual leave.

In another dramatic event for Victoria’s car industry, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has filed action against Toyota in the federal court for the alleged targeting of union and health and safety representatives when it sacked 350 workers last month.

The parties went to mediation on Monday and AMWU acting national secretary Paul Bastian told GoAuto a court date is expected by the end of this week.

AMWU vehicles division assistant national secretary David Smith said he believed there was a strong chance of winning the court case, which if successful would result in 12 workers being reinstated by Toyota.

A protest group of around 150 people assembled outside Toyota’s Altona factory in Melbourne’s west on Tuesday last week.

Toyota has defended what union representatives described as heavy-handed treatment of dismissed workers, who were escorted out of the Altona plant by hired security officers and taken to a reception centre across the road to be informed of their fates.

Toyota sales and marketing senior executive director Matthew Callachor said sacked workers at the Altona plant had been treated with “utmost respect” and that the company did not believe there was anything it would have done differently.

The company’s public affairs and communications manager Glenn Campbell told GoAuto that all workers who had been made redundant had the right to appeal the decision to Fair Work Australia.

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