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Holden refuses meetings with Government

Editorial
article image Relations between the government and Holden are cooling.

South Australian and Victorian automotive workers, who will today talk with the government about the future of the auto industry, will not be joined by representatives from Holden.

The ABC reports that workers from the manufacturing and components sectors and union officials will meet a representative of Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

The delegation will include representatives from Toyota, Ford and car parts manufacturers. However, it will not include representatives from Holden.

John Camillo, South Australian state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union told the SMH that Holden had indicated that it wouldn’t be involved in the meeting because "they said they didn't want to play any politics and didn't want to release them."

Camillo said that the workers he represents are looking for support from the government and want to know if their industry will survive in this country.

"They're not going to sit on their hands and just wait on the decision from Detroit to say the [Holden] plant's going to close down at Elizabeth [in Adelaide]," he said.

"These workers say we need to do more than that and so we are doorknocking in Canberra for those people who want to listen to the auto workers putting their case forward about why it is important to have the automotive industry in Australia."

As the Australian Financial Review reports, only last week a senior executive from Holden’s parent company, General Motors (GM) let another opportunity to meet with the Government pass it by.

GM's head of operations in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Stefan Jacoby declined a government request for a meeting with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

MacFarlane was not impressed by the snub. 

“It displays a lack of sensitivity by GM on the importance of this issue to the federal government and to Australia and to South Australia,” he told the AFR.

Jacoby was only in the country for two days. In that time, he viewed the Holden model range and met some of the engineers who developed the range. However, apart from failing to meet the Industry minister, he also didn’t meet any of the Workers from the Elizabeth facility or any of their representatives.

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