MORe than 3000 Toyota employees have stopped work for a second day, in a move that is halting the production of hundreds of cars and costing the company millions of dollars.
The employees in Melbourne and Sydney began a 48-hour strike yesterday morning over a pay dispute, bringing production to a halt.
Just 400 of the usual 3300 staff arrived for work today at the company’s Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne.
Further strike action is planned for next Thursday and Friday and for every day the protected industrial action continues, 580 cars will not be built, says Toyota spokesman Glenn Campbell.
“The economic impact of these stoppages costs the company $10 million a day,” said Mr Campbell.
“This stoppage will cause significant short-term pain and have long-term consequences for our suppliers, dealers and employees.”
The industrial action was due to begin last week, but Fair Work Australia granted Toyota an interim suspension banning the strike.
A similar application by Toyota this week was denied.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) acting national secretary for the vehicle division Dave Smith said the action was the result of a stalemate between the company and its employees over pay.
Mr Smith said the union was seeking a 12 per cent pay rise over 36 months, or four per cent each year, but the company was offering 11 per cent over 39 months, split into four instalments ranging from 2 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
“It’s a pretty entrenched position from each side,” he said.