Four hundred workers at Holden’s Elizabeth plant are going to work for the last time today, as the AMWU has revealed that 85 per cent of workers will refuse pay cuts that the company has said are necessary to remain viable.
Lyn Cotter, a worker at the plant north of Adelaide for over three decades, recalled her start during an interview with ABC’s AM.
"[It was] very daunting because there were no women here,” said Cotter.
“I actually started in the body shop, but after two days we were called in and said that we couldn't work in the body shop. They finally realised why they didn't have women in there because of the lead at that time."
1700 Workers at Elizabeth and 300 at Port Melbourne are being asked to accept pay reductions to keep the company viable.
"Discussions have been occurring for over a week-and-a-half now but we're getting to the pointy end and probably [we will] still continue discussion over the weekend and have a variation to the collective agreement that will be put to the workers sometime next week," said the AMWU’s John Camillo to AM.
The AMWU has said that workers had helped the company make $9 million in savings, and had accepted a freeze in pay increases – worth three per cent – last November, but were unlikely to accept pay cuts, which have been reported to be worth as much as $200 per week.
"Our workers are indicating they are not going to accept pay cuts and some of the other conditions Holden is trying to impose on us," Camillo told News Corp Australia.
Independent expert Goran Roos is currently undertaking a month-long review of Holden’s finances and manufacturing, and will report to
the company and unions next week.