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Holden Redundancies

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    A union said many Holden workers were finding out on Friday whether they would be offered voluntary redundancy.

     

    About 500 workers at the car maker's Elizabeth plant in northern Adelaide put their hands up to take a package.

    The number interested was about 100 more than the company sought.

    Australian Manufacturing Workers Union official John Camillo said the interest in leaving showed workers were deeply concerned about Holden's manufacturing future in Australia.

    "These people would rather take the VSP (voluntary separation package), move on and find a job elsewhere," he said.

    "Some of them have found employment elsewhere, some haven't, but they're prepared to leave now rather than continue going through the next few months or years of uncertainty about the automotive industry."

    Holden said offers made to workers could now be discussed with their families and it did not expect to finalise redundancies for several days.

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    Guest BurgessFamily

    they didn't have many come forward until the announcement that Holden were going to renegotiate with the unions about reduced salary and conditions, then a load more came forward. I think it is the beginning of the end for holden and coming to the end of motor manufacturing in australia (in it's current form).

     

    the bigger impact will be on suppliers, can they increase exports or will they shrink / disappear too.

     

    Cars in this country are too expensive. We just bought a 2006 mitsubishi grandis for a bargain $16k here, the same one (age and condition) in the uk would have cost us $4k (under 3,00 GBP). There are more car dealers importing from japan etc... now.

    Edited by BurgessFamily

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    Feel quite sad actually about Holdens.They are/were an aussie icon!I can remember when I was in primary school and one of our trips were to the Holden factory in Elizabeth!lol Maybe they should of brought out cheaper/more fuel efficient models a few years back and gone down that road!(excuse the pun!lol)

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    Both Holden and Ford are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They can't afford to make a small fuel efficient car with the incredibly high wages the unions demand, but if they keep making a large car with petrol prices set to increase then sales will continue to disappear.

     

    I watched the ABC news once and I'm sure we have more car companies selling into Australia than selling in the USA, even though we are less than 1/10th of the market size. We are so de-regulated. Our government has a free trade agreement with Thailand so we should be able to export / import to each other without taxes, but a $45,000 car made and sold in Australia is approx $100K in Thailand due to the odd taxes they apply to the vehicle. It appears we are not on a level playing field.

     

    Have a look at the video, it's only one point of view, but it is a very valid point of view.

     

    http://fapm.publish.viostream.com/fapm

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    Guest Adelaide_bound

     

    Cars in this country are too expensive. We just bought a 2006 mitsubishi grandis for a bargain $16k here, the same one (age and condition) in the uk would have cost us $4k (under 3,00 GBP). There are more car dealers importing from japan etc... now.

     

    Yes, but surely that's second hand and not to do with the costs of how much a new car is? The prices on brand new cars from the dealerships we think are stupidly cheap over here, or at least they type of cars we are looking at (maybe a lot smaller than other people as I just want a little run around) and loads do things like 0% finance, with finance that normal people can actually get rather than only get it if you've got enough money to pay for the whole thing anyway.

     

    I think the culture is just very different here - in the UK we have learnt to buy things at the absolute cheapest price, no matter what. Now a lot of that is because we've had to because of wages being low etc etc. There just isn't that need here in Oz - I saw a really interesting thing in a woman's mag the other day about someone saying should they buy Aussie veg etc at the supermarket, as they felt guilty for not doing so, but its a bit more expensive than the imported stuff. The reply was very much 'yes, if you can afford it you really should' and the reasons why - in the UK we are always just told to get the best deal we can, but then there's not a lot to support in the UK anymore, so there aren't as many reasons for not just going for the cheapest thing. Personally one of the reasons we wanted to move here was that Ozzie culture to things, so the fact its changing is a little sad, but to be expected I guess. We (me and hubby) feel if we can help out and do our little bit though maybe we can slow it, as if we feel that way, there may be others as well (from what we see there are) and who knows.

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    Guest BurgessFamily

    You can buy new cars for under $14k... http://www.hyundai.com.au/offers/i20/i20-sa-offer (but "Offer valid whilst stocks last and excludes govt, fleet and rental buyers"...so need to add stamp duty etc...).

     

    I see in the UK they are "From £10,095", so possibly much cheaper in Oz.

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    Car manufacturing is a complicated matter, but my sympathies are with the workers and the tax payers whose funds have kept afloat a company that's made plenty of dubious decisions, from the types of cars it manufactures to how it deals with unions.

    From what I've read, Holden workers (on the line) typically earn $66k per year ($28 per hour, plus all the allowances that bump things up). This is pretty much the average Aus wage. I don't begrudge them that. If the unions the workers are members of have managed to negotiate that deal, over a period of time, then good on them; it hasn't just happened out of the blue (incidentally, there's an old saying in industrial relations that companies end up with the unions they deserve, and whilst that might be simplistic, those of us with a background in IR know there's a good deal of truth in it. In a heavily-unionised environment, both sides meet enough – and not just at enterprise agreement negotiations – to build up a relationship where they can understand each other's state of affairs. Apart from when there's a sociopath at the helm, the last thing a union wants is for its members to be out of work because that's what destroys unions).

    Got to say, I don't hear many members on here moaning that they personally are earning too much in their jobs and that it's affecting the organisations they work for and how they operate. There's an assumption that they're paid what their employer can afford. There's much comparison with UK wages and high-fiving those here who are better off. Should we be glad that everyone else is earning well but want to keep car plant workers' wages low?

    There are massive pressures on car manufacturers here, no doubt about it; a small market, developed economy wages, strong dollar, much red tape, the lack of a level playing field in the import/export market (although I don't hear their parent companies complain much when they take advantage of this via their other subsidiary companies exploiting those markets). These challenges aside, Holden has failed to compete on spec, vehicle type and design. At the risk of upsetting vehicle owners, better deals with other car companies can be had. GM's broader strategy seems to have been to squeeze what it can from state and federal funds before pulling out of Aus. I simply can't see any other reason for the state it's got itself into, and its efforts on spin in relation to its dependence on subsidies. Meanwhile, companies in other sectors face many similar challenges but have to trade on the success of their products without tax payer bailout.

    You can buy new cars for under $14k... http://www.hyundai.com.au/offers/i20/i20-sa-offer (but "Offer valid whilst stocks last and excludes govt, fleet and rental buyers"...so need to add stamp duty etc...).

     

    I see in the UK they are "From £10,095", so possibly much cheaper in Oz.

    It's always hard comparing cars internationally, because apart from potentially different specs, there may be differences in whether it's a 'drive away' price and what this actually means. Currently, though, the i20 is on offer in the UK starting at £8,695, and this includes delivery, first registration fee, number plates and 12 months Road Fund Licence. So, on the face of it cheaper in the UK.

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    so today Detroit .. home of motown (that's motor town) music.. and the ex car industry of the USA is bankrupt...

     

    Birmingham ... home of heavy metal...(black Sabbath. led zep, judas priest) and UB40, duran duran, toyah, ELO. steve winwood, ocean colour scene, the move.. and the ex british car/ motor industry...

     

    Holden closer !!! not much too lose...... think about it?

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