Strategic assistance to car workers?

There are rumours is a news report that the Government is poised to provide strategic assistance to the Holden workers and others in the industry who will be out of a job in 2017.

Mr Abbott said it was time for a strategic response to the difficulties in manufacturing, and particularly in the motor industry.

“It is not the time to play politics, it’s not the time to indulge in the blame game, it’s not the time to peddle false hope,” the prime minister said.
“It’s a time for a candid and constructive conversation with the Australian people, and it is time for a considered and constructive response from government.
“And that’s exactly what this government will be providing in coming days.”

“Que?” as Judith would say, or words to that effect.

Does this mean that the workers have no savings, no super, and no company redundancy provisions?

Can the Government tell us about the strategic assistance that will be provided to all the employees in small business who lose their jobs over the next few years?

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42 Responses to Strategic assistance to car workers?

  1. A Lurker

    If GMH has taxpayer money still squirrelled away from the last Federal Government hand out, then by rights GMH should use that money to either retrain their employees for other work, or return it to the Federal Government.

  2. dd

    20 years ago, Australians cared what happened to Holden. Now they’re like “see ya!”
    Much loved institutions can fall out of favour.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    I will provide strategic assistance to them all right now:

    Get a fucking job.

  4. candy

    Perhaps it’s a good political move to offer strategic assistance. Who knows, it might settle the whole thing and even benefit those employees who have been so wrapped in cotton wool they have no idea how to get out there and retrain.
    I understand that other workers in other industries are offered none of this and it is mightily unfair to them.

  5. feelthebern

    Under the most recent agreement , if Holden pulled out, the workers get monster redundancy packages.
    It was in built.

  6. Gab

    Redundancy packages will range $280,000 – $310,000 per employee. And now Abbott is saying the government will assist Holden with the redundancy packages. For the love of horses enough with the doling out money to the union rank and vile that have been ripping off the taxpayer for a decade. It’s GM’s responsibility to pay those redundancy packages and not the taxpayer! FFS Abbott, grow some.

  7. Armadillo

    There are rumours that the Government is poised to provide strategic assistance

    More than a rumor Ralph. I think Truss actually stated it in QT.

  8. Poor Old Rafe

    It is my understanding that the Holden workers have adequate redundancy from the firm. Anyway rather than beat up on the Government and start drawing comparisons with Fraser I think we need to press on the with the task of explaining to the punters why this kind of thing is unsustainable.

    I suppose they are spooked by the polls and they have decided to be a small target. Perhaps the process of developing a “strategic response” could end up not spending any money but instead produce a heap of deregulation to promote employment. OK OK kick me to death :)

  9. Myrddin Seren

    Hi candy

    This is from Grace Collier’s piece in the Oz yesterday ( paywalled )

    “The fellow interviewed agrees with my calculation: the average production-line worker will walk away with a redundancy package of between $300k-500k.”

    Average….. production-line…..worker

    I am about to get rissoled – erm – retrenched from a management position in the supposedly bountiful resources industry – and my payout is not remotely near those levels.

    So the best strategic assistance the Feds could possibly do for both the car workers and me is cut the red tape, green tape, blue tape and let entrepreneurs and viable businesses start to build and grow.

    Failing that, the Holden lineworkers can join me at Centrelink.

  10. Gab

    redundancy package of between $300k-500k

    Oh wow. I stand corrected.

  11. Andrew

    Adelaide Uni hands out honorary professorships to pretty much anyone no matter how undeserving – maybe they could have a squiz there?

    And yes, GM should be sent a bill for a refund of half the last donation (on which they “guaranteed” 10 years and delivered only till a month after the election). Send the repo men in to Detroit if necessary – file an action under ones of these treaties I keep hearing about. Govt money should never pay for private sector redundancies with the possible exception of if the company defaults on statutory entitlements then there might be some argument for an insurance scheme of last resort.

  12. I’ve no objections to the government increasing the rate of reallocation of labor after mal-investment falls over.

  13. candy

    It may be that strategic assistance is just a money for job retraining.

    The end result is that we’re shot of providing subsidies to companies like Holden. It can be done gracefully though.

  14. egg_

    Myrddin Seren
    #1106970, posted on December 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hope all goes well for you.

  15. Poor Old Rafe

    Steve Price made a nice point on air, apart from disputing the subsidy of 50K per worker at Holden. He said when we have no local car makers there is no rationale for the tariff on cars.

    Andrew Bolt suggested that the government would keep in anyway to raise money. Also they will keep the luxury car tax which is a bit rough for Andrew because he has been loyally driving a Holden to support the firm and soon he will have to drive a Jaguar instead but he can’t really afford in on his meagre pittance.

  16. Infidel Tiger

    Only the Libs could screw up this wonderful news.

    Rather than letting us have cheap cars, we’ll now have no local production and continue to have to pay through the nose. They really are retarded.

  17. Myrddin Seren

    Thanks egg….

    2013 has challenged my usual good grace and humour in a number of ways that would test the patience of a saint.

    I am expecting the even-numbered and auspicious 2014 to be much better.

  18. egg_

    Rather than letting us have cheap cars, we’ll now have no local production and continue to have to pay through the nose.

    That was my fear, IT.

  19. Gab

    According to Devereux it costs about $3750 more to build a car in Australia than it does to import it. So why have we been bailing out Holden for ten years!!!

  20. .

    egg_
    #1106998, posted on December 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Rather than letting us have cheap cars, we’ll now have no local production and continue to have to pay through the nose.

    That was my fear, IT.

    Then write to your MP that we should remove ADRs and tariffs.

  21. egg_

    Then write to your MP that we should remove ADRs and tariffs. sell Aunty and keep manufacturing.

    You’re on re cheaper cars.

  22. H B Bear

    “It’s a time for a candid and constructive conversation with the Australian people, and it is time for a considered and constructive response from government.”

    Australians, for too long you have paid too much for your motor cars. We, as your representatives, have repeatedly caved in to union, State government and local political pressure to support unsustainable wages and work practices for over 50 years. We have continued to burden other productive businesses to support an industry that is not and will never be self sustaining.

    As a Liberal government, I recognise the importance of limited government intervention in markets and so I announce our government’s response. Nothing. Not a single dollar more of your taxes will be taken from your pay packet to end up in the union negotiated Enterprise Bargaining Agreements of Holden, Ford or Toyota.

  23. .

    egg_
    #1107011, posted on December 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Then write to your MP that we should remove ADRs and tariffs. sell Aunty and keep manufacturing.

    You’re on re cheaper cars.

    If you want to keep manufacturing, look at labour on costs – up to 90% of the wage bill.

    If you thinks subsidies result in cheaper goods, you don’t understand how subsidies work.

  24. Infidel Tiger

    I’ll wager my left nut that more people lost their jobs with the closure of all the video stores in Australia than Holden closing and nobody gives a shit about them.

  25. JC

    I’ll wager my left nut that more people lost their jobs with the closure of all the video stores in Australia than Holden closing and nobody gives a shit about them.

    Over the years I used to go to a blockbuster that was three strip shop fronts wide. This became two then last year it became one shop front. I still like watching blue ray though. They’re clearer than Monster stupidity.

  26. ClockingOff

    Perhaps the real libertarian response would not just be removing the 5% duty and the luxury car tax, but to again free up the restrictions on grey imports.

    Rice, anyone?

    Regarding the redundancy payouts, they would likely be at 3…4 weeks of pay for every year of service, at least for full-time employees, so those figures up-thread sound about right.

  27. iamok

    Yeah there was no strategic assistance to my successful business when it went under. This is an appalling precedent and IS playing politics TA. Stop now or you will be over-run by class actions left right and green.

  28. Zatara

    I can’t think of a better example of Social Justice(c).

  29. Ant

    “The fellow interviewed agrees with my calculation: the average production-line worker will walk away with a redundancy package of between $300k-500k.”

    Oh, how I will weep for production-line workers bludgers and the stinking mobsters that run their union when they’re given their marching orders.

    Pass the tissues.

  30. Zatara

    Abbott should dump any plans to piss away more taxpayer money on the unions.

    “And yes, GM should be sent a bill for a refund of half the last donation (on which they “guaranteed” 10 years and delivered only till a month after the election)”

    Andrew, do you have a link to support that as I don’t recall GM guaranteeing anything. I do recall Labor doing so however.

  31. mundi

    Hopefully, at most, Abbott will just be setting up some program to ensure minimum redundancy payouts for the ‘effected’ flow on ‘parts makers’ who, probably not being unionised, won’t have very big redundancy. It would be utterly ridiculous to pay more money for the shutdown of Holden, aren’t GM making a profit now? Let them pay.

    I was talking to a ex holden drafts men today and he told me that as late as 2007 they still have non-CAD draftsmen who drew by hand. He was laughing because he was at mitsubishi in 1996 when they ‘finally’ got rid of the last non-CAD workers – and he thought they were behind, only later when he contracted to holden did he realise how slow moving the car industry can be. I’d expect there are a lot of dinosaurs still lurking at Holden.

  32. Monkey's Uncle

    The car workers have been given years notice in advance that they will be out of a job, and so have plenty of time to plan their future, look for another job, think about alternative careers etc., in addition to any other benefits they might be entitled to.

    Why on earth do they deserve any more assistance from government than some other poor soul working in any other industry who (say) gets the sack tomorrow or suffers some other misfortune such as injury or illness?

  33. Infidel Tiger

    I’m sure some will find gainful employment at the Dept of Climate Change.

  34. Mr Rusty

    So for years and years the fuckwit class of SA and Vic who pissed around at school, never put a days work in and left with a Zoo magazine literacy level have been paid six figure salaries for semi-skilled jobs involving nothing much harder than screwing on wingnuts or sealing plastic coating on a door frame.
    They will now get redundancy packages of “between $300k-500k” AND “strategic assistance” (which, whatever it is, will no doubt involve taking money out of MY pocket.)
    The Union overlords will be looking at twice that.

    I’m just lost for words.

  35. mareeS

    It was BHP, not the Hawke-Keating Govt, that provided “strategic assistance” to the 3,200 Newcastle steelworkers who lost their jobs when BHP closed its Newcastle works in the 1990s. That was a deal insisted on and negotiated with BHP by Labor. Same should apply to GMH, especially as there’s so much taxpayer money in their clutches already.

    Tony, your iron parts are no more…first you take Shorten on holidays with you, now this!

  36. jimmy

    If you can’t find another job in three years and you’re going to trouser $300-500k then you probably deserve to go onto the dole.

  37. twostix

    Abbott’s been reading the Open Forum I see. Tomorrow he’ll announce the grand Twostix Nation Building Scheme where all of these quasi state employees from Government Motor Vehicle Production Factory #1 will be retasked to driving bulldozers to build the one hundred dams he promised.

    Then after that up to FNQ they go.

    To leave the scheme early they must pay back the money their government so generously gave them over the last ten years.

  38. Oh come on

    Hell, the National Party Director in his Press Club Gallery speech conceded that governments’ track record on picking winners is poor. Now we have talk of a coalition government offering “strategic assistance”. FFS.

  39. Strategic assistance?

    Draft them all, every single one of them, and retrain them in ship assembly and maintenance – they can help restore the patrol boat fleet that Labor raped in order to provide its Christmas Island taxi service.

  40. Driftforge

    Does ‘Que?’ have basically the same meaning as ‘WTF?’

  41. Rafe

    Yes and it is a more suitable expression for a perfect lady like Judith to use.

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