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Sacked Australian workers take Toyota to court

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Might be due to the fact that many Health and Safety reps often do bugger all apart from creating tons of paperwork...as was the case with my Aus employer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Hire and fire" is the way of the companies in the western world. Toyota which has become a global company is not an exception.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

One employee apparently didn't meet Japanese standard attendance records. He had 640 hours of unused sick leave but was marked down for poor attendance which contributed to the reason he was chosen in the redundancy process. Another employer was a Health and Safety Supervisor, who drew a lot of attention to asbestos issues in the plant. He was made redundant, too. Some interesting explanations to come in the court case from Toyota it seems. http://afr.com/p/national/sacked_toyota_workers_start_legal_9nSEEy3FFwSpRN2kr2lgBP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese companies are becoming just like American companies. The bottom line is all that matters, loyalty to and from the employees is not needed. The new motto is screw your customers and employees to get the greatest amount of profit now. When the company fails take your golden parachute and do it to another company.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Disillusioned

As an Australian, you should realize the stupidity of what you are saying.

How about Holden laying off workers? Are they tring to impose Japanese ethics too?

Would not be surprised if the people doing the firing are Australian. I've never seen such disloyalty, from employers and workers, while working in Japan. The Japanese manufacturer where I worked refused to let their staff go despite the bad economy. As far as I know, they are still hanging in there.

Meanwhile, here in Australia, my current employer makes staff redundant constantly. I had WAY MORE job security in Japan than I ever had in Australia.

Bit of personal advice, get over your hatred. The nice people in Japan outnumber the bad ones. Count your blessings.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Basher - You missed the point of the article and my post. They are fighting against being descriminated as their job title. It is a 'last on, first off' rule for any redundancy in Australia. It is law.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You'd think that Toyota would know better than to try their Japanese work ethics in Australia. These employees will win their case and Toyota will have to pay.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

if they piss off Toyota enough, it may just exit production from the country, further worsening this situation. From Toyota's perspective, i dont see a point to produce there other than the strong yen. Might as well produce more in SE Asia, Africa, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Australian dollar is very strong this was bound to happen, can't have your cake and eat it too

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its because many Australian lawyers are desperate for works...and Toyota is such a healthy , rich and nice target. Nothing new here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

reformedB,

One of the reasons j-companies look paternalistic is because its VERY hard to lay off or fire anyone in Japan. I admit some of this "the company cares" is somewhat geuine, some is also because companies cant trim workforces in Japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IamGaijin, 70 percent of my Honda Civic is made up of American made parts. The car was assembled in Shelbyville Indiana. Soon it will be 100 percent, Japanese car in name only. giggles 地の卵

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sfip330, if all of the manufacturing goes away, what else is left? Sheep and cattle ranching? Working in coal mines? What happens when the "developed" countries become "undeveloped"? There has to be more than the "bottom line". Before long Australia, Japan, the United States will become welfare countries where most of the population is on the dole. While the very rich become ever more rich. At a certain point money loses its meaning.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From Toyota's perspective, i dont see a point to produce there other than the strong yen

Actually, in relative terms the Aussie dollar is way stronger than the yen - as is the health of the Aussie economy. Which makes it seem almost untenable that there is still an auto industry in Australia. Taxpayers are propping the industry up to the tune of billions. The workers there are paid much more than Japanese workers and infinitely more than those in SE Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets see, these greedy unions and workers where warned this would happen last year when they went on strike demanding payrises. They where told at that time that if they persued these rises then jobs would go. What did they do? They pushed ahead and got the rises. So they where warned. Then when it comes time and they are made redundant they whinge and complain. Oh cry me a river people you bought it on yourselves.

As for the union reps and OHS reps being fired l wonder why that is. Lets see could it have something to do with the fact that unlike most companies these reps did not actually do any work other than union or OHS work. Yes thats right these bludgers would sit in their little office and bludge day in and day out and not be productive like the rest of the workforce and when challenged would throw up excusses about union business etc. Toyota management are partly to blame for this as they let it go on too long but you can tell me that a company should carry dead weight regardless of their role. And show me another business in Australia that lets its union reps do this work only. Every site l have ever worked on union business is conducted during their paid breaks or with management permission and the rest of the time they are productive workers.

So to the Toyota worker that were forcefully made redundant l have no sympathy. And for the record of the 350 laid off not all where force some were voluntary.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I can understand Toyota but Toyota has to understand they can not pull the BS they do here in Japan with the rest of the world, hell even workers in INDIA revolted against SUZUKI! So why should not the good workers of AUSTRALIA not revolt against Toyota?? By the way, the INDIAN workers SHUT down and forced SUZUKI to pay better wages etc..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is Australian PM doing nothing abou this issue? iThe biggest competitor for Toyota Australia is actually Toyota's other plants overseas. Anyone who knows the car industry understands this. They have to bid to make the next model and their are plenty of Toyota plants in other countries with cheaper labor. Workers should take responsibility and educate themselves rather than expecting a job to last a lifetime. The have had their jobs subsidized more than any other industry while plenty of other manufacturing jobs have gone as they also weren't self-sustainable. The govt shouldn't subsidize industries making products even locals don't want to choose. By the next state election the only Australians that'll have jobs are waiters, bar staff and kangaroo zoo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtaniApr. 25, 2012 - 05:36AM JST sfip330, if all of the manufacturing goes away, what else is left? Sheep and cattle ranching? Working in coal mines? What happens when the "developed" countries become "undeveloped"? There has to be more than the "bottom line". Before long Australia, Japan, the United States will become welfare countries where most of the population is on the dole. While the very rich become ever more rich. At a certain point money loses its meaning.

Australia has only 22 million people living in country that is equal in land mass of U.S. The entire Australia has less people than100km radius of Tokyo metro. The problem is that consumer market in Australia is very limited with very few people. Companies like Toyota cannot sell that much there and they have to export their cars to other countries, and this is very expensive. In Australia, Toyota knows that their labor cost is still too expensive and not competitive. Toyota knows it's cheaper to manufacturer in developing countries to be profitable. Few years ago, GM manufactured their Pontiac G8 cars in Australia and shipped it to U.S., but they found out its cheaper to make it in other countries. They stopped after few years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfip330, still these people will go on the dole. Maybe Toyota will lower wages for the rest. Maybe they will just close the plant and import the cars from India. Just how many more people can go on the dole? The government is running a deficit. What happens when the other companies only think about themselves? It is all about corporate greed and think in my lifetime will see the end of the middle class. There will be those with the money, very small middle class and the rich poor (brown noses of the corps) and those on the dole.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At least these guys have a union. No such thing where I work.

@sfip330 and YuriOtani,

Are you guys arguing? Because you are both saying things that are true.

By the next state election the only Australians that'll have jobs are waiters, bar staff and kangaroo zoo.

Not sure about "state" election. Which state? Granted, Australians are being "dumbed" out of the better jobs. Once an Australian manager leaves, his/her job is snapped up by a foreigner. Mind you, most "managers" just nod their head all day.

There will be those with the money, very small middle class and the rich poor (brown noses of the corps) and those on the dole.

Even if I retain my job, the cost of living is so high here. For most people, buying a home has become next to an impossible dream (yeah, because we don't have enough land in Australia for our high population, that explains it). Even for those who do own their home, bills get increasingly expensive. Having a home when you retire means you might be able to get by on the pension as long as you live a very frugal lifestyle.

It's pretty obvious that what Yuri says is true. The middle class are disappearing, we're being robbed to pay for the less fortunate and less motivated. Meanwhile, the rich can't decide whether to buy a new boat or car or both.

Fact: I've heard people from Tokyo complaining about the high cost of living in Brisbane, not the most expensive city. And that was in 2007. Now in 2012, things have got worse, not better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

It is law

Really? So where I work is doing something illegal? Trust me, there are ways and means.

And I'm a reformed basher, not a basher. :-)

I just opened my eys and became objective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReformedBasher Apr. 26, 2012 - 11:48AM JST. Not sure about "state" election. Which state? Granted, Australians are being "dumbed" out of the better jobs.

The next state election in Western Australia will be held on March 2013. All 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly and all 36 seats in the Legislative Council will be contested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330

The next state election in Western Australia will be held on March 2013. All 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly and all 36 seats in the Legislative Council will be contested.

And given Toyota don't have manufacturing plant in WA and a great portion of jobs on WA are mining and related industry how exactly is this relevant. Manufacturing in australia has been in decline for decades nothing new here. High costs and union claims have pushed much of it offshore. Logistics and the like are now where the jobs are, that and mining,etc. as for kangaroo zoos what are you on about here anyway we ain't that backward

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cletus Apr. 27, 2012 - 07:05AM JST. Manufacturing in australia has been in decline for decades nothing new here. High costs and union claims have pushed much of it offshore.

Much of it is the new restricted Australian regulations. Confusion over Australia’s foreign investment policy is likely to turn away future potential investors and the fault of the Australian regulators. The Sino Iron’s CITIC Pacific project would have been a significant step for Australia’s iron ore industry in Western Australia, but cost overruns and delays resulted from a lack of understanding of Australia’s policy environment. A key assumption of the project was the cost savings it hoped to gain from importing Chinese engineers and workers to build the mines. When standard restrictions on imported labour were discovered the budget blew out significantly, and Chinese investors have recently suspended all investments in this large project in Western Australia. It is legitimate to protect the ‘national interest’, but Australia’s treatment of Chinese investors has increasingly failed the test of transparency as to which national interests are being protected and from what they are being protected.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has traditionally provided an effective way to protect Australia from foreign investments that were perceived to encroach on ‘national interests’. But in recent years, when dealing with Chinese investment activity, the review board appears to have been making up regulations as it goes along. The Australian security agencies have now put enormous business restrictions on Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, a growing company in the Australian market. The actions show little regard for the fact that foreign investment has played a key role in Australia’s development. Chinese investment in the agricultural sector is now also being treated with suspicion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330

Much of it is the new restricted Australian regulations.

You claim new regulations yet the downturn in manufacturing started back in the late 90's and has continued and increased. All due to the high dollar and ridiculous wage claims by greed unions. Not regulations.

A key assumption of the project was the cost savings it hoped to gain from importing Chinese engineers and workers to build the mines. When standard restrictions on imported labour were discovered the budget blew out significantly, and Chinese investors have recently suspended all investments in this large project in Western Australia.

And rightfully so, their are ample people unemployed and looking for work to tackle these projects without bringing in excess foreign labour to take more Australian jobs so this was a good decision.

The Australian security agencies have now put enormous business restrictions on Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, a growing company in the Australian market. The actions show little regard for the fact that foreign investment has played a key role in Australia’s development.

Yes a company bidding for our national broadband system a company with close ties to China's military and run by former high ranking military officials. That is called common sense in national interests.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cletus Apr. 27, 2012 - 01:50PM JST. And rightfully so, their are ample people unemployed and looking for work to tackle these projects without bringing in excess foreign labour to take more Australian jobs so this was a good decision.

Who in Australia going to replace the lost indirect revenue? What long term benefit for Australia does this policy do? The Chinese investment could've provided local community direct and Indirect economic contribution for decades. The indirect spending would've provide a strong base for the economic growth of communities and surrounding regions. The Chinese workers could've made contributions on local Australian businesses included spending with local suppliers, infrastructure, and housing. The increase Chinese workers would've required enhanced medical services, including a hospital is key to growing community. The hospital is an enduring benefit for the local community regardless of changes in the business environment. This is only a dream now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd think that Toyota would know better than to try their Japanese work ethics in Australia. These employees will win their case and Toyota will have to pay.

Um, what exactly have they done wrong? Lay offs are lay offs. If not these guys, than others.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

With all Japanese import cars getting bought left and right in the American market, I see no reason why Japanese people need to fret about hiring practices of Japanese companies. The Japanese people can live off the fortunes of the auto industry since Europe and America are kind of in a slump.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Disillusioned

My company is laying off workers too. And it's run by the state government (indirectly).

Amongst those who are being laid off are a) the obviously useless ones, b) the troublemakers and c) the unfortunate ones who were in the wrong job at the wrong time. I belong to c. (at least I hope I do).

The company has the right to do what it wants as long as it's not illegal. Companies are to make money first and foremost.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@GW

One of the reasons j-companies look paternalistic is because its VERY hard to lay off or fire anyone in Japan.

I've seen it done at every company I worked in while living in Japan. Not keeping up? Customers complain? Collect your pay on the way out.

Besides the ever growing number of casual workers, a lot of people expect to work for a company in Japan for a long time, if not until they retire. And the company expects the same. Yes, the times are changing due to the economy.

Meanwhile, in Australia, at least where I work, it is is becoming the "norm" to quit and move on every few years.

I've seen the best workers in both countries and swear that the best here are nowhere near the best workers I've seen in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

good overseas japanese companies are the worst employers. never work for a japanese company overseas. the owners expect the same standard as japan which is impossible to do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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