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Toyota quits: Devastating day for industry, says union

Shock announcement: The AMWU said in a statement that today's decision by Toyota to quit local manufacturing was devastating.

AMWU pins Toyota decision on Coalition’s lack of support for car-makers

Toyota logo10 Feb 2014

By BARRY PARK

THE union representing Toyota’s blue-collar workforce has labelled today’s shock Toyota announcement as a “devastating” day for the entire manufacturing industry.

A statement released by AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian late today said the decision showed the “scale of the failure” of the Coalition's lack of support for Australian investment, and workers.

“This union will keep fighting for manufacturing workers and to maintain a strong manufacturing industry, but today’s decision has made that task harder than ever before," he said.

AMWU national vehicles secretary Dave Smith said the decision would cost thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain.

“The magnitude of this decision in the community cannot be underestimated," Mr Smith said.

“We are looking at a potential recession all along the south-eastern seaboard.”

Mr Smith accused the federal government of “chasing important and viable operations out of Australia”.

“These are serious injections of foreign capital which we are waving goodbye to across the manufacturing sector,” he said.

“These effects will be felt in road transport, container shipping and all of the services that keep Australian-made cars on the road.

“There’s not a car industry in the world that doesn’t receive some sort of government support.”

Shop stewards at Toyota had been fighting moves by the car-maker to make changes to worker enterprise bargaining agreements to help it shed up to $3800 in costs that Australian production was adding to cars built on the Altona line, eroding the value of the seven in every 10 cars heading for export markets.

The appeal, and Toyota’s counter-appeal to a decision handed down in January saying the car-maker could not make changes to the agreements was due to return to the federal court in May.

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