holden blames job losses
Last Updated : GMT 02:57:08
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Holden blames job losses

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Holden blames job losses

Sydney - AFP

Auto maker Holden said it would cut around 100 jobs, blaming the strength of the Australian dollar, one week after fellow car giant Toyota sacked 350 workers. Holden, an Australian subsidiary of US firm General Motors, on Thursday said it would scale down production to a single shift at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia to \"manage the impact of the high Australian dollar\". Holden managing director Mike Devereux said the changes would result in losses \"around the order of 100 or so casual and flexible workers\" from the company\'s workforce of around 5,000 people nationwide. \"At the current exchange rate we won\'t be able to realise further growth in our export programmes so the shift changes allow us to maintain production levels and do it more efficiently,\" Devereux said in a statement. The Australian dollar has traded near or above parity with the greenback for more than 12 months and Canberra sees a strong currency as the new norm for the resources-rich nation. But the exchange rate has hit some local industries hard, particularly manufacturing, with steelmakers and now the auto sector shedding jobs in a bid to stay afloat. Toyota Australia sacked 350 workers last week due to \"unprecedented\" pressure on its operations from the dollar and its impact on export markets, saying a slump during the financial crisis had failed to reverse. Canberra extended Holden a Aus$200 million (US$214 million) credit line in 2009 after parent company GM filed for bankruptcy, handing 60 percent of the firm over to Washington. GM reclaimed its title as the world\'s biggest automaker last month, successfully emerging from its bankruptcy woes to overtake German giant Volkswagen and Japanese Toyota in the race to the top. Australia\'s automakers have come under increasing strain, with last March\'s earthquake and tsunami in Japan seeing Toyota Australia scale back production by 20 percent and third major player Ford sack 240 workers. The government pledged Aus$34 million to help prop up production at Ford\'s operations earlier this month, saying it was vital to maintain competition in the local market. That followed a multi-billion-dollar lifeline to the nation\'s ailing auto industry at the height of the global financial crisis, after Ford cut 450 jobs.  

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