SINCE I wrote that post, Holden, Ford and Toyota have all done exactly that!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Before you barrel blindly on in the misguided delusion that "That's not going to happen to us....our Union will protect us" *think*. Let me illustrate how the "Union" worked out for one Toyota worker I interviewed. I asked him about the sequence of events that led to the announcement of the closure.
i) Toyota advised of some minor changes to conditions needed to make manufacturing more viable in Australia.
ii) The AMWU went directly to Fair Work Victoria, attacked Toyota with a viciousness of a cornered panther, and with Left wing morons as Judges, won the case.
iii) Toyota Announced it is closing.
What you DON'T find in that sequence of events is....this one..
n) "The Union called on the workers to have a VOTE on the conditions proposed by Toyota.
That didn't happen! No Vote.....
Not only that, but this worker who is about to be hurled without mercy by the AMWU onto the mortgage scrapheap of 'past use by date' said most of the workers were quite happy with the changes proposed.
You now have enough information to make and informed decision about whether to remain with your Union.
My advice is..GET THE HELL OUT of it, while you still have a job and a future. I suggest you make your own 'workers council' so to speak, and elect representatives from among you without any interference from the Union, and work 'with' your employer rather than against them.
If you want someone to represent your legitimate interests, call me (via the comments line below) and I'll happily accept your current Union dues (probably just a fraction of them, leaving you better off) to support myself while I negotiate with the company about Job security and conditions. I've studied Industrial relations for years now, along with political science, and I know what mongrels "Big" bosses can be, and what scumbags "Big" Labor bosses can be. As far as I'm concerned they are both branches of the same forked tongue of the red bellied black snake of slithering self interest and shameless greed. You need to be liberated from that vulnerability.
Here is an example of why TOYOTA decided "Enough is enough"...but this relates to OTIS
Funny thing, that was the same mentality the Union brought to....Toyota and GMH and Ford.. it is only a matter of 'when' not 'if' that companies like Otis simply bypass unions altogether and rely on contracted outsourcing.
You might think this would cause the Union some concern? Well..of course it does, but it doesn't change their DNA which requires them to continue destroying jobs by demanding ever more. In the long run, at least the AMWU bosses will still have their jobs, even if half of their previous Victorian membership does not!
I've heard it argued by Kenworth workers that "we used to produce 5 trucks a day, but now we produce `11" therefore....we should have a pay rise because 'we' are more efficient.
Possibly....it depends on a number of factors.
Is this efficiency improvement based on a) workers working harder, longer or smarter? or.. b) is it because of some machines that now save labor time? Or..is it c) because of an additional shift that responds to market demand?
Only 'a' above would justify some share of the improved economic prosperity. Otherwise, you would be stealing in effect from the shareholders of the company. Remember, it was not 'your' money that put the factory on the map, it was the Shareholders who paid for the damn lot. If you want a dividend from overall company prosperity over and above your wages....BUY SHARES for goodness sake.