Toyota sackings go to federal court as hundreds protest outside plant
Apr 24, 2012
Protesters make their message clear to Toyota management.
The AMWU has filed action in the Federal Court to seek the reinstatement of 12 workers sacked for their union activity at Toyota.
The lawyer representing the workers, Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said the workers were subjected to targeted and unlawful discrimination.
"There is a stench in the way Toyota has gone about these sackings and there is a stench in the way redundancy criteria was misused to target particular employees for dismissal," Mr Bornstein said.
“When we have workers who have given nearly two decades of their life to the company being told by their manager on the day of the sackings 'I told you, you shouldn't have been a union rep', it is clearly wrong and in breach of Fair Work Australia laws.”
AMWU Vehicles Division Assistant National Secretary David Smith said the union had taken the action to ensure the workers received justice.
“We want to argue their case in court. If we argue successfully, and we believe there is a strong chance of that, we want them (the 12 sacked workers) put back on the job at Toyota.”
He said the treatment of unionised workers and health and safety representatives was disgusting and could have wider ramifications.
"Toyota has now become the vehicle to relay a strong message that people have important rights at work, that unions can represent those rights and that people should not be unfairly targeted for standing up for their rights."
The case is expected to start in the Federal Court on Thursday.
Meanwhile more than 150 people representing unions across Melbourne gathered outside the Altona plant this morning, voicing their anger at Toyota’s actions.
Contact Email: news(at)amwu.asn.au