Toyota to negotiate for lower Altona worker production costs

Toyota needs to cut more costs at its Altona factory.
Toyota needs to cut more costs at its Altona factory. david mcarthur

CARS manufactured in Australia could soon be a thing of the past. 

The Federal Government has just launched an inquiry by the Productivity Commission to investigate the "ongoing viability" producing cars in Australia, and now Toyota wants urgent workplace changes to reduce costs.

It comes only two weeks after announcing it would make 100 voluntary redundancies at its Altona manufacturing plant.

Ford has already announced plans to shut up shop in 2016, while Holden's future is on a knife edge - not helped by boss Mike Devereux's imminent departure for a new job within General Motors. 

Toyota wants a variation of its Workplace Agreement terms and conditions to provide greater flexibility and increase its global competiveness.

The Japanese company's Australian arm says some of the proposed changes to the terms and conditions involve "the removal of outdated and uncompetitive practices and allowances that increase Toyota's labour costs and reduce its global competitiveness".

While the points up for review have not been revealed, they will be discussed with the union and 2500 employees during the coming weeks.

President and CEO Max Yasuda and executive vice president and COO Dave Buttner today met with union officials and manufacturing employees to ask for their continued support as it takes this action.

"Everyone is working extremely hard to ensure Toyota's long term manufacturing future in Australia, but we must do more if we want to move towards being globally competitive," Mr Yasuda said.

"The support of our employees is needed to modernise the work practices at our plant to increase productivity and improve our competitiveness.

"Our continuous improvement towards global competitiveness is crucial to securing production of the next generation vehicle and maintaining our export program."

Mr Yasuda said although the company is part-way through its transformation journey, the proposed variation is needed if Toyota is to achieve its targets.

"We need to improve our productivity and reduce the cost of each of our locally built vehicles by $3800 by 2018. Although we have made progress, the speed of change has not been fast enough," he said.

"We need to take urgent action because we are now seeing gaps in our transformation plans. We must develop detailed plans to close these gaps if we want to remain at the negotiating table for future investments."

Mr Yasuda said manufacturing employees will still receive two scheduled pay rises next year as part of the current Workplace Agreement. 

Employees will vote on the proposed variation of the terms and conditions on December 5. The outcome be announced the next day.

Topics:  cars news motoring toyota

premium_icon Revealed: Full list of Rocky region's top ranking schools

Rockhampton State High School principal Kirsten Dwyer.

Local underdog school takes out Rocky's best OP school ranking

Dash cam video captures Rocky hoon in action

Stills from the dash cam footage shows the Mazda undertaking cars in Allenstown.

Hoon undertakes on the left hand side of the road

Careers fair opens new options for Rocky students

rockhampton State High School students Gemma Roug, Molly Hartley and Tahlia Kiraly at the school's inaugural careers fair.

GALLERY: Students enjoy The Morning Bulletin's photo booth

Local Partners

To the stranger who Photoshopped my picture

MIRANDA agreed to have her photo taken with her mum in a jewellery store. When she logged onto Instagram the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Don't delay: this test could save your life

LIFE-SAVING: Rob Patch is on a mission to convince people to have their sleep apnoea checked in order to prevent an early death.

"The doctors said I had come there to die.”

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

former Australian cricketer’s first car was an HT Holden wagon.

Russia’s seedy ‘virginity trade’

On Russian social media, young girls and women are being recruited to sell their virginity to wealthy men. Picture: The Sun

Girls as young as 17 sell their virginity

Cancer teen married two days before death

19-year-old cancer patient Lydia Dominguez married her boyfriend Joshua Ordonez just two days before she died.

Teen with cancer dies after getting married two days earlier

Dad’s shock: ‘I was told I was a paedophile’

Karl Pollard was taking his daughter Stephanie to visit her sick grandmother. Picture: SWNS/Mega

Hotel apologises after wrongly accusing innocent dad of paedophilia