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Workers demand 18pc pay rise from Holden
By Motoring Editor MIKE DUFFY
feb04

HOLDEN'S 9000-strong workforce in South Australia and Victoria will demand an 18 per cent wage rise as the centrepiece of their new three-year enterprise bargaining agreement.

Strike action is part of an aggressive strategy being demanded by shop stewards at the car giant's vehicle assembly complex at Elizabeth and the new $400 million V6 engine plant at Port Melbourne for what they consider a fairer deal for workers.

The hard line will put the Holden workforce on a collision course with the Federal Government's industrial relations policy which is designed to crush disruptive unions.

Revelation of the tough stance to be taken by members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union comes on the eve of a planned announcement in Melbourne tonight by Holden's new chairman and managing director Denny Mooney on production, domestic sales and export targets for 2004 and beyond.

The car maker will announce it is aiming to regain the No. 1 position, lost to Toyota last year, following two years as the nation's most successful car maker/importer.

Many senior car workers at Holden already earn between $80,000 and $100,000 with overtime and additional weekend shifts. But workers will point to the record 153,000 vehicles produced at Elizabeth last year and the rich pickings from 36,000 cars sold overseas to support their claim for 6 per cent pay increases in each year of the agreement.

One shop steward at Elizabeth, who did not wish to be named, said: "We have delivered productivity gains.

"We have agreed to flexible shift patterns and programmed days off and we have achieved build quality equal to any mass production plant in the world.

"Holden has made a killing from domestic sales and growing exports and we expect some of the proceeds. And in case Holden thinks we are not fair dinkum, it should look back on the EBA negotiations three years ago."

The company's IR personnel had assured top management an agreement was a formality ? only to face a shock two-day strike.

The company increased its offer and eventually signed off on a 16.7 per cent wage rise over three years.

"Our members have seen Holden reap massive profits from their enterprise and efforts on the shop floor, and they rightly expect fair working conditions and a realistic pay structure," AMWU state secretary John Camillo said.

Article Here

 

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Kind of reminds me of Detroit before the imports came. They'd pay their workers huge salaries with great benefits as long as they didn't strike. Now, this is starting to really hurt them as the Japanese companies can come in and hire workers for much, much less.
 

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$80k-100k plus benefits in probably one of the most modern and favored plants in the GM system is not fair working conditions or realistic pay? ( Irealize that this is probably not USD's) Wow! I would venture to guess that most of those workers have only a high school education, too. This is the exact thinking that landed the big three in the poor situation that they've been in. Just because the plant has been profitable doesn't mean that it should start giving abnormal wage increases. In fact, whether the workers know it or not, such a pay raise may jeopardize their future employment. Real work satisfaction and security comes from product leadership, not antagonistic collective bargaining.
 

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Yes, what happens when/if times aren't so good? They won't be willing to take an 18% cut, I can guarantee that.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Feb 4 2004, 12:57 AM
One shop steward at Elizabeth, who did not wish to be named, said: "We have delivered productivity gains.
productivity increases: doing more with the same resources. adding resources (spending more on salaries) offsets the productivity gains and puts them back at square one. while that's horribly simplified, and i can understand the sentiment that workers want to see benefits, not just have them go to the company, the plant won't continue to improve and perform if the workers so closely tie their performance to salary.
 

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Nevermind that paying workers more for productivity gains is what allows developed nations to have a high standard of living. Never mind that paying factory workers good money is what has made our economy work since Ford starting paying 5.00$ a day. Never mind anything that makes sense! Let's just make moooore profit for people who already don't spend the money they make! I'm sure that's sustainable! Don't ask me why, it just is! Isn't that great!? I'm sure the masses of people that make up our economic base will just keep on getting more and more credit!! Gee-golly whiz, that sounds nothing like 1929!!!
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Feb 20 2004, 11:33 PM
Nevermind that paying workers more for productivity gains is what allows developed nations to have a high standard of living. Never mind that paying factory workers good money is what has made our economy work since Ford starting paying 5.00$ a day. Never mind anything that makes sense! Let's just make moooore profit for people who already don't spend the money they make! I'm sure that's sustainable! Don't ask me why, it just is! Isn't that great!? I'm sure the masses of people that make up our economic base will just keep on getting more and more credit!! Gee-golly whiz, that sounds nothing like 1929!!!
think you are overreacting just a tad here... :rolleyes:

I modest increase is warranted, but NOT 18%!
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Feb 20 2004, 11:33 PM
Nevermind that paying workers more for productivity gains is what allows developed nations to have a high standard of living. Never mind that paying factory workers good money is what has made our economy work since Ford starting paying 5.00$ a day. Never mind anything that makes sense! Let's just make moooore profit for people who already don't spend the money they make! I'm sure that's sustainable! Don't ask me why, it just is! Isn't that great!? I'm sure the masses of people that make up our economic base will just keep on getting more and more credit!! Gee-golly whiz, that sounds nothing like 1929!!!
Nevermind that uneducated people who do the most mindless jobs in the world should get paid anywhere close to what they make today.... unions are not used for their initial purposes in NA now, they are used to suck money from the people who actually earned it. Whether a worker put 2 bolts on a car that makes profit or doesnt - its the same damn slack job either way.

The huge pensions and the current UAW contracts are the MAIN reasons why the Japanese are taking over... GM needs to hold strong and let them strike... it will be worth it in the long run. Its when they know that we are scared to strike that they have the negotiating power
 

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Great, now Holden is going to have their union cutting into their profits just like we do in the states. I hope they make that union strike, nobody deserves an 18pc pay raise because times are good, because nobody is going to give it up when times are not.
 

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SilverZ, I think the recent flight of "tech" jobs to India and China should make it pretty obvious to you that what you call mindless jobs are not the only ones in danger of moving overseas or receiving pay cuts to avoid moving overseas. I work for a Biotechnology company and we recently opened a small production facility in India. It has to do with quality of life. Ours is hugely higher than it is in Asia. You complain all you want about UAW workers being "overpaid," the fact that they move profits from executives to workers means they are out there spending $$ and keeping us employed. Incidentally if you're like most Americans you watch professional athletes. If you think everyone should be paid the minimum of what they are worth then you should stop watching sports, and demonstrate daily in the corporate boardroom.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Feb 21 2004, 09:39 PM
SilverZ, I think the recent flight of "tech" jobs to India and China should make it pretty obvious to you that what you call mindless jobs are not the only ones in danger of moving overseas or receiving pay cuts to avoid moving overseas. I work for a Biotechnology company and we recently opened a small production facility in India. It has to do with quality of life. Ours is hugely higher than it is in Asia. You complain all you want about UAW workers being "overpaid," the fact that they move profits from executives to workers means they are out there spending $$ and keeping us employed. Incidentally if you're like most Americans you watch professional athletes. If you think everyone should be paid the minimum of what they are worth then you should stop watching sports, and demonstrate daily in the corporate boardroom.
Terrible comparo... the public freely pay the big bucks to pay athletes... thats why athletes deserve it... because they are the product - they are the selling point. If they didnt deserve it, we wouldnt pay $100+ to see them for a couple of hours.

The UAW workers however are a simply assembly workers that do the easiest jobs on the line while the robots do the harder jobs (not vise versa!!). Noboy buys a car because of the workers behind it. I do agree that they support the local economy... but what would happen if they wouldn't be paid so much? The big 3's costs would be lower - we'd be more competitive... and we wouldn't be laying off people because of the asian invasion... having employees making 20% less would make alot more sense than laying off a bunch.

It comes down to this... either we weed the UAW down inch by inch by outsourcing to be competitive(or layoffs because of deminished profits)... or the lazy UAW workers take a pay cut to match the rest of the hard working american/canadian workers... its too bad its guaranteed to be the former.
 

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Uhm...most people don't pay 100+ to see them for a few hours. They stay home and watch the commercials to pay for it. Silly. And that wasn't the point either. It's a response to your charge that the autoworkers have an easy job. What's easier than playing a game for your whole life? Therefore, atheletes deserve about 10.50 an hour. I think your response was crummy, and beside the point. I also don't think you or 90% of the people who complain about it could last in an auto plant for more than 6 months. Whether jobs are outsourced or pay is cut the effect is the same...lower standard of living for everyone. Why is that so hard for you to understand? Oh I know, the executives who make extra profit will keep the economy going. Sure. Maybe you think your job is so hard they can't find an Indian or Chinese to take over? :lol:
 

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Listen Up...

This is from an interview with Peter Hanenberger just before official retirement. And was printed in the January issue of "Wheels" in Australia.

Production at Elizabeth grew to 620 a day with the introduction of the third shift. And, greater efficiencies means it's now at 780 a day, and set to reach 820 a day in 2004, when production of the new V6 will be 240,000 a year, also on three shifts. But Hanenberger is worried about the union claims for higher wages and points out that Holden assembly line workers are now paid just $2 less per hour than their German colleagues, the most exspensive in the world.

"It's becoming dangerous." says Hanenberger. "We can go to a fourth shift or add machines in thailand."
 

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Demanding 18% increase. LOL
I think this is GREAT!
I am so SICK of these big companies exporting 100's of thousands of US jobs to overseas for cheaper labor. I hope this is a trend......

:lol: :mf_boff: :flush:
 
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