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Anger as Toyota workers lose their jobs

Reported by By Catherine Best
Monday, April 16, 2012
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Sacked Toyota workers at the carmaker's Melbourne plant say they've been treated like dogs and slaves.

Toyota called in security guards on Monday as it started axing 350 workers' jobs at its Altona plant.

Each worker was ferried across the road in a minivan to a reception centre, where they were handed a folder and told they no longer had a job.

Inside the folder was an A4 sheet outlining the criteria for their dismissal.

Employee of 18 years Sam Taddesse said he was handed a bag and told to collect his things in the presence of five security guards. He was then escorted to a waiting minivan.

Mr Taddesse, who worked in material handling and was a safety representative, said he wasn't given a chance to finish his coffee and say goodbye to his team members when he was singled out at the start of his shift.

"I never expected from my company to be treated like this," he told AAP.

"They treat you like a slave, for 18 years of work we should get something better.

"It's very, very sad for me."

Paul Polistena said Toyota was singling out for redundancies union shop stewards and safety representatives, such as himself.

The worker of 15 years said he wasn't given a proper explanation why he was on the chopping block.

"They preach about family this company but they treat you like dogs," Mr Polistena told AAP.

"I know why I got the flick because I'm a health and safety rep and a strong one so if they get rid of me it's very easy (to run the plant)."

Comment is being sought from Toyota on this issue.

Chang Kim, 49, had to phone his wife and tell her the bad news.

The father of four, who worked on the factory line, said he would have liked a better explanation about why he was losing his job after 24 years.

"I'm pretty upset, pretty unhappy," he said.

03/09/2014 09:41Sydney, Australia. 3 September,2014
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