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VE threat averted

Business as usual: The Ajax dispute threatened VE production.

Eleventh-hour rescue package prevents disruption to Holden's VE Commodore production

General News logo24 Aug 2006

By TERRY MARTIN

THE fragile nature of the Australian car industry was exposed again this week when a potentially crippling dispute involving components supplier Ajax Engineered Fasteners was averted at the 11th hour.

Ford and Holden narrowly avoided standing down its production workforce when a deal was struck yesterday (22 August) between the car companies and other customers involved, Ajax administrator Stephen Longley and Ajax workers and their representatives.

Ajax customers, who also include major suppliers such as PBR, have agreed to underwrite the Melbourne-based company for six months.

A division of Global Engineered Fasteners, Ajax went into administration earlier this month. Around 200 workers were stood down last Friday.

A furnace shutdown at the specialist nuts and bolts supplier would have halted vehicle production for at least a week, limiting Ford and Holden’s ability to fulfil overseas as well as domestic orders.

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