Ratbag unions and Labor politician would rather cost jobs than accept pay cuts

There are none so bad as those who are willing to sacrifice all in their pursuit of a flawed and unattainable goal. The unions and the Labor party are rejecting proposals to reduce wages at car plants in Australia in a bid to save jobs, in effect damning those workers to the scrap heap.

Toyota Australia complained about high labour costs and sagging productivity at an emergency summit of car industry leaders with Prime Minister Julia Gillard but was brushed off by union opposition.

The meeting was convened two weeks ago after Ford decided to stop making cars in Australia from 2016, leaving only General Motors Holden and Toyota.

At the Melbourne summit, chaired by Ms Gillard and Industry Minister Greg Combet, Toyota executive David Buttner raised the problem of high wages and poor labour productivity.?

One well-placed source suggested Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary David Oliver insisted that ?productivity and wages would not be covered by the meeting, which was ?promoted by the government as a way to find solutions to protect the viability of the industry.

?He shut him down,? said the source.

Mr Combet confirmed the issue was raised but denied the discussion was curtailed. The communique following the meeting didn?t mention labour relations or productivity, which experts say is one of the industry?s main problems.

The debate over state aid for car makers dominated question time in federal Parliament on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister attacked what she said was the Coalition?s ?reckless plan to rip away? $500 million from the industry.

Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella, who criticised the effect of the carbon tax on the price of cars, was almost kicked out of question time for snapping back at Ms?Gillard. She withdrew the remark, which couldn?t be heard from the gallery.

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