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Toyota fights workplace agreement finding

Bottom line: Toyota says it will appeal a Federal Court decision that has blocked it from making cost-cutting alterations to its workplace agreement.

Fight to cut $3800 from Toyota’s costs to return to court

20 Dec 2013

TOYOTA is fighting to overturn a court decision that has stopped it from thrashing out a range of cost-saving measures with its 2500 employees.

The car-maker announced yesterday that it will launch an appeal against a Federal Court decision last week stating that the changes Toyota wanted to make to its workplace agreement constituted ‘further claims’ and therefore breached the agreement and contravened the Fair Work Act.

The action was brought against Toyota by four of its senior employees who argued the company was not entitled to vary the agreement until it expired in March 2015.

The Japanese car-maker has said it needs to strip $3800 from the cost of each vehicle that rolls off its Altona production line if it is to keep a manufacturing foothold in Australia beyond 2018.

Seven out of every 10 vehicles rolling off the Altona production line is destined for export markets.

Toyota Australia is currently working on a business case to build the next-generation four-cylinder Camry and V6-engined Aurion here, as well as a potential third model that is believed to be the RAV4 small soft-roader.

Toyota’s Altona-based workforce was expected to have voted on a new workplace agreement last Friday, shortly after the Federal Court verdict was handed down.

Toyota is the only car-maker committed to building vehicles beyond 2017, with Ford and Holden both announcing this year they would shutter their Australian production lines over the next few years.

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