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January bloomed bright for the Australian manufacturing industry, whose 2.4 point increase on the Performance of Manufacturing Index at the end of last year suggested industry expansion in the near future.
Unfortunately, the uptick may have been the last bit of good news for the industry: Toyota Australia cut 350 workers from its Melbourne manufacturing plant yesterday, and another 3,000 automotive industry jobs are at risk of being made redundant, according to the Herald Sun.
“This is the beginning of the end of the manufacturing industry in Australia,” Australian Manufacturing Workers Union representative Charlie Marmara told the newspaper.
According to reports released this morning by Nine MSN, the rising Aussie dollar and declining demand contributed to Toyota’s decision to slash jobs at the plant. In Victoria, the manufacturing industry employs approximately 300,000 people.
Back in July, we reported that Ford Australia would cut 440 workers from their Broadmeadows plant and slow daily production from 209 to 148 vehicles.
Today, 118 voluntary redundancies and various in-house transfers have resulted in 212 workers losing their jobs.
According to The Australian, 110 job cuts were spared when Ford was able to place some workers in product development and taking Ford Performance Vehicles in-house beginning in 2013.
Still, the efforts were not enough.
“Unfortunately, as we didn't achieve the required number of redundancies voluntarily, the company is moving ahead with a compulsory redundancy program,” said Ford Australia spokeswoman Sinead Phipps in a company statement.
“Despite our best efforts, it will be a very difficult day for the entire Ford team.”