20,000 jobs at risk as union calls for vehicle industry talks

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20,000 jobs at risk as union calls for vehicle industry talks

Almost 20,000 jobs are at risk in the vehicle manufacturing sector, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has warned Prime Minister John Howard in calling for an urgent review of industry assistance.

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Almost 20,000 jobs are at risk in the vehicle manufacturing sector, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has warned Prime Minister John Howard in calling for an urgent review of industry assistance.

AMWU South Australian State Secretary, John Camillo, has written to the government warning that its intention to slash car tariffs by another 50%, to just 5% from 2010, will cost thousands of well paid, full time jobs.

'The facts speak for themselves,’ Camillo said. ‘Currently we impose 10% tariffs on imported vehicles. Last year, Australians bought 980,000 cars but 70% of them were imported.

'If we slash tariffs again, Australia will not have a car industry in five to 10 years.’

Camillo said the implications would be severe for jobs, affected communities and the growing balance of payments crisis.

He said around 25,000 Australians have full time work in vehicle manufacture and every one of those jobs creates seven more jobs ‘downstream’.

 

Mitsubishi job cuts a 'no-win strategy'

Camillo wrote to the federal government in the wake of Mitsubishi announcing last week its intention to cut another 250 jobs out of its Adelaide operations.

The company has asked for ‘expression of interest’ in severance packages after admitting disappointment at sales of its new 380 model.

However, Camillo said the AMWU fears the company is making a serious mistake at a time when it needs to rebuild market confidence.

‘Mitsubishi, like Ford, Holden and Toyota, has been caught by petrol price rises that have seen Australian consumers opt for smaller cars,’ he said.

Camillo said immediate job-cuts is a ‘no-win strategy’.

‘It will add about $10 million in costs to the financial year results and, if the market does bounce back, require Mitsubishi to rehire if it is going to compete,’ he said.

 

Hybrid technology needs funding

AMWU National Secretary, Doug Cameron, called on the federal government to put funds into the research and development of ethanol and hybrid motors.

'Australia is a big country and Australians will always buy big cars, but fossil fuels will not last forever,’ he said.

‘There is a great opportunity for Australian industry to become a world leader in a technology for the future.

‘The Australian government must put money behind innovation if we are to secure industries with high-skill, high-wage jobs for the future.’

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Mitsubishi slashes 250 jobs as new 380 car falters



 

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