14 Aug 2013

Wage freeze accepted by Holden employees

12:44 pm on 14 August 2013

Holden employees in Adelaide have accepted a wage freeze for three years in order to prevent the company closing its production line in 2016.

In a series of ballots on Tuesday, 1700 employees at the Elizabeth plant effectively voted to keep their jobs and continue producing the company's Cruze and Commodore models.

The ABC reports a planned wage increase of 3% from November will now be deferred as Holden looks to save $A15 million in labour costs in order to remain viable and keep building cars in Australia.

Employees were also asked to approve changes to sick leave, overtime and shift breaks.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union did not give exact numbers, but said a clear majority voted in favour of the proposals.

State secretary John Camillo conceded that members had no other option than to accept the changes if they wanted to keep their jobs.

The ABC reports the outcome of the vote does not guarantee the plant's future. Holden's survival now resting on a new government deal to be negotiated after the federal election to secure funding for the period from 2016 to 2022.

The final decision about the company's future will then be made by General Motors in Detroit.

A proposed 10% pay cut by the company was earlier taken off the table after strong resistance from the union. The plant's work force was cut by 400 redundancies in July.