How the unions killed Toyota in Australia

Via Andrew Bolt, two great articles on how the union movement was responsible for destroying Toyota’s manufacturing in Australia:

The Australian Financial Review (Paywall Protected):

The former head of Toyota Australia and one of its top supplier executives say combative industrial relations helped trigger the company’s decision to stop making cars.


John Conomos, who worked at Toyota in senior roles for almost 30 years including as executive chairman, said he could understand the company’s frustration at union resistance to changing workplace entitlements and practices…

“The old fashioned ideas of labour unions simply must change,” he said…


Gary Stewart, the former general manager of a Toyota “keiretsu” supplier, Aisin Australia, said the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union gave the company a “two-fingered salute” when it blocked workplace changes in court rather than negotiate.


It was the last straw for the company and gave ammunition to “hawks” at Toyota who supported the pull-out in a finely balanced decision, he said.


“If it is not the only cause it is certainly at the top of the file.”My opinion is that if Toyota had broken through its IR issues – then most probably Toyota would have tried to continue in Australia.”

Paul Sheehan writing in the Sydney Morning Herald:

After an hour of questions on Tuesday, Shorten moved a censure motion: ‘’I move … that the House censures the Prime Minister for failing to stand up and fight for Australian jobs at Toyota, Electrolux, Simplot, Holden, Qantas, Ford, the Gove alumina refinery, SPC Ardmona and countless other small businesses around Australia …’’

As Shorten introduced his censure motion, the press gallery rapidly emptied….

A few minutes later came the most damaging accusation of all, via the Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne: ‘’We have legislation before the Parliament to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission and to establish a Registered Organisations Commission, and we have announced a royal commission into union governance and corruption, all of which the Leader of the Opposition … is opposing. He cannot rise above his background. He is a union official supporting union officials. He is running a protection racket for a protection racket.’’

Harsh. But it sums up the collateral damage Shorten is suffering from the rolling sequence of union scandals.

2 replies
  1. K Mitchell
    K Mitchell says:

    None of the businesses mentioned by Bill Shorten can in any way be described as small businesses. In fact, globally some of them can be said to have a stranglehold on supply. The union movement has totally lost its way and needs to give it all up. The working people of this country know the unions are in bed with the multinationals wherever they can curry favour, not with the men and women who pay their (unjustifiable) salaries.

  2. Michael
    Michael says:

    Page 8 of the AFR news item on John Conomos has the President of Toyota MC Australia saying “Toyota had almost made the required $3,800 cost reduction per car”. Hence why Masuda said he had no issue with the Union, so why is the wages and TMCA “Hidden Costs” which management accepted, resourced and engineered, constraining that cost down – they were almost there or am I missing something on cost reduction discussion?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *