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SA workers to meet with AMWU regarding Holden’s future

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The AMWU will hold three meetings today and tomorrow with Holden workers after their shifts end, with the number of those applying for voluntary redundancy exceeding the number of redundancies offered.

The Advertiser reports that post-shift meetings with Holden’s Elizabeth plant workers at 1 pm and 3 pm on Monday and 12 am on Tuesday morning.

“What management keeps saying to us is that (the) future of Holden depends on workers' flexibility - these workers do have flexibility,” said the union’s John Camillo.

Holden’s future has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, following Ford’s announcement in May that it would leave Australia, Holden’s threat to also exit in 2016 if any funding is withdrawn if a Coalition government is elected this year, and managing director Mike Devereux asking 2,000 workers – 1,700 at Elizabeth and 300 at Port Melbourne – to consider pay reductions.

Devereux has cited high costs in Australia for the Holden's difficulties, claiming the cost per vehicle produced is up to $3,750 higher in Australia compared to elsewhere.

Last Friday the ABC reported that about 500 workers have applied for redundancy at the Elizabeth plant, 100 more than the number of separation packages Holden was seeking.

Camillo has suggested that this is indicative of the state of car making in the country.

"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," he said.

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