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Hundreds of Holden factory workers clock off

Almost 400 Holden workers clock off for last time as talks continue for those left

Holden logo26 Jul 2013

HUNDREDS of workers will clock off for the last time at Holden’s vehicle operations plant in South Australia today after accepting a voluntary redundancy package.

GoAuto understands that just under 400 workers have left the Elizabeth factory as part of the latest round of job cuts announced by the Australian manufacturer in April, with unions saying that more than 500 employees had put their hand up for a package.

A farewell barbecue for employees at the entire site will be held, and framed ‘VF team’ photographs presented to departing workers.

Reduced demand for the locally built Cruze small car, sales of which have fallen 24 per cent in the first half of this year, was cited as a key reason for the latest restructure that has seen production at Elizabeth slowed from 400 cars per day to 335 (including Commodore and derivatives).

Holden says workers are leaving from all areas of its vehicle operations, with no single area targeted.

A further 100 hourly positions are also going in Victoria, with these jobs – some of which are likely to be forced redundancies – to be lost across pre-production workers at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne and validation staff at the Lang Lang proving ground in South Gippsland.

The company is currently negotiating a new enterprise bargaining agreement with unions in an effort to cut its labour costs further. This could lead to more job losses if workers do not agree to new conditions.

Independent expert Goran Roos has been studying Holden’s books and manufacturing practices in recent weeks at the request of the Federation of Vehicle Industry Unions, and is due to make recommendations to the car-maker by the end of this month.

Holden is expected to finalise its latest business plan by the end of September.

The company made 270 workers redundant last year as part of an ongoing restructure of its operations that has seen its manufacturing workforce cut by more than half over the past decade, to around 1700 employees.

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