The Australian reported, ‘Late yesterday, Toyota Australia’s cost-cutting strategy received a serious setback when a Federal Court judge blocked the company from holding a meeting of employees today to consider changes to their workplace agreement, ruling that the carmaker had breached the “no extra claims” provision of the workplace agreement covering employees.
‘Toyota Australia president and chief executive Max Yasuda said he was disappointed with the outcome, and the company was considering its options, including an appeal.’
The federal judge concerned, Mordecai Bromberg has a solid ALP past but lost his one attempt at ALP pre-selection in 2001. Doubtless his ALP credentials proved invaluable when he, like many other Labor Party simpaticos, got appointed as a judge in the Federal Court by the Rudd/Gillard governments.
Judge Bromberg has proven to be extremely activist and inventive in his legal interpretations. He was behind the disgraceful interpretation of section 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act, concluding that Andrew Bolt was a racist following the latter accurately describing some individuals who see themselves as aboriginal as “fair skinned”.
He was also one of three judges who determined that a Canberra public servant who sustained injuries during sexual intercourse with a colleague in a motel should be compensated.
Now he has ruled in favour of the same unions whose actions have been instrumental in destroying Ford and Holden as local manufacturers to prevent Toyota workers deciding for themselves whether to will agree to work practices that will allow the productivity improvements and cost savings that will enable it to remain manufacturing in Australia. On past record the workers are more likely than not to vote for their own demise if the alternative is inferior conditions. But the union leadership was clearly unsure of the outcome and, fortunately or not, they came before a well-disposed judge.
Unless there is a successful appeal, it will now be more than six months before a deal can be put to the workforce. The time bought by such a delay will not work in favour of Toyota deciding to remain in business in Australia.