Saturday, 14 December 2013

Recession for Australia after Holden?

It's all pretty heart rending down in Victoria where Holden is. Australia has been pretty lucky in avoiding much of the GFC, but this is going to be such a big hit to the economy down there that it may very well drive Victoria and south Australia at least into recession. Is it possible to lose about 30-40,000 jobs in one industry and not go into recession?

Don't look to Abbott for any help. He's stuck in his own incompetence, running around like a headless chook in damage control, Holden just being the latest fiasco. Anyway, this from the AMWU:
AMWU delegates in Adelaide are set form a joint committee with Holden to manage change and organize more assistance for distressed members, with some in tears on the production line yesterday. 

An anxious Prime Minister Tony Abbott phoned Toyota CEO Max Yasuda within hours of Holden’s decision to assure him the Government would do all it could to ensure the Japanese auto maker remained as the sole car maker in this country beyond 2017. 

But AMWU National Vehicles Secretary Dave Smith said it was tragic that the PM only woke up to the importance of adequate co-investment after Holden announced it was quitting. 

“The Coalition Government has realised the enormity of its mistake too late and we are now threatened with a recession, starting with the auto supply chain in Victoria and South Australia,” he said. 

“This was never just about two Holden plants, it is about tens of thousands of automotive jobs in hundreds of businesses fundamental to the economy. 

“Mr Abbott is coming to terms with stripping billions of dollars out of manufacturing so he’s finally talking to Toyota in the way he should have spoken to GM months ago. 

“The people in the front line are our AMWU members and their families.” 

The fragile South Australian economy has about 13,000 of its jobs tied to car components while in Victoria it is 25,000 jobs, with many thousands in other states. 

Mr Smith said it was uncertain how many parts suppliers would survive on Toyota alone. But the company itself admitted it was under “unprecedented pressure” as was its “ability to build cars in Australia.” 

South Australian AMWU Vehicles Secretary Jon Gee said the immediate priority was to provide help for people at Holden not coping and get them through to the Christmas shutdown from next Friday. Members can seek confidential assistance from AMWU Care on 1800 206 316. more


Abbott has ruled out more support for Toyota saying it's "not the right way to go". Well is closing Holden the "right way" then? This is a gov stuck in an unworkable and impracticable monologue/ideologue with itself:
Toyota will not receive extra taxpayer support to remain in Australia, despite fears it could yet follow Holden out the door, Tony Abbott has revealed.

The Prime Minister said he expected the Japanese car maker, which employs 4200 people, would stay because it had a strong export business. He said Canberra would not go beyond the assistance set out in the Automotive Transformation Scheme and dismissed calls for an increase to safeguard jobs as ''not the right way to go''.
He said ''the lesson of the motor industry is that once you start subsidising businesses you get yourself onto a treadmill. Read more

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