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Honda hacks into warehouse workers

Staff cuts: Japanese manufacturer Honda will let 24 workers go from its Tullamarine warehouse at the end of the month.

Workers face sack as Honda outsources car-parts distribution jobs

Honda logo12 Nov 2013

By BARRY PARK

UPDATED: 17:50HONDA Australia has come under fire from unions after announcing it would sack 24 warehouse workers before Christmas.

The workers, based at the Japanese brand’s Tullamarine car parts warehouse, face the sack at the end of this month as Honda outsources the work to a third-party labour hire company.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which represents the Honda employees, said the workers had been told they could apply for a job with the labour hire company if they wanted to keep working at the facility.

A statement released by the AMWU late today condemned Honda for failing to consult union members about the review of their operations, and for providing no opportunity for constructive engagement with the workforce to explore alternatives to the loss of permanent jobs.

Honda Australia confirmed to GoAuto that it would outsource its warehouse activities from November 25 to CEVA Logistics, with warehouse activities remaining at the Tullamarine Head Office site.

“CEVA Logistics is a global leader in automotive parts warehousing and distribution,” Honda said.

“This decision was announced to staff on Monday, October 28 and taken after an exhaustive business review.

“Honda Australia is supporting its staff through this process and remains committed to providing its dealer network and customers with the most efficient service."However, the union said the car-maker could have afforded to keep the jobs in-house.

“This is a company that has returned strongly to profit in the last financial year paying out nearly $11.5 million in dividends to shareholders,” AMWU vehicle division assistant national secretary Warren Butler said.

“Yet when it comes to their loyal workforce they turn their dreams of secure, permanent work into nightmares of precarious labour hire employment, for the sake of cutting costs,” he said.

“Honda’s behaviour shows a callous disregard to its employees and their families and couldn’t come at a worse time than in the lead-up to Christmas.”

Mr Butler said Honda was not prepared to work with its employees and the union to see if the jobs could be preserved.

“Let’s be clear, it’s not as if Honda is experiencing the crisis besetting the manufacturing arm of the car industry,” he said.

“There’s a pretty big gap between being held over a barrel by the Federal Government over critical co-investment funds and a quick money grab from workers for profits.

“We call on Honda to rethink their approach and to sit down and engage constructively with us, rather than dumping workers into insecure work,” Mr Butler said.

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