To help secure the future of local automotive manufacturing, employees at the GM-Holden Elizabeth plant have accepted revised employment conditions that include a three-year pay freeze. According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the majority of Holden’s 1,700 production line employees in the South Australian capital city of Adelaide voted “yes” for the pay freeze on Wednesday August 14, after GM-Holden informed workers that a ‘no’ decision would put local production of the next-gen Commodore and Cruze at risk.
Originally, Holden intended to secure wage cuts and a cap on voluntary separations to save itself roughly A$15 million in expenses a year, but compromised when 90 percent of its workforce declined the proposal. So far in 2013, the Australian General Motors subsidiary has reduced its assembly line and engineering staff by 500 employees through voluntary separation packages.
Adding uncertainty to the mix is Australia’s upcoming Federal election. Previously, General Motors had promised to invest $1 billion in the Elizabeth facility for production of the next-generation Cruze and Commodore models up to the year 2022, but Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux recently said that Holden’s future won’t be fully solidified until after the September 7 election has taken place.