Dismissed Toyota workers head to court

Workers dismissed by Toyota will begin legal action against the Japanese car giant today.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is due to file proceedings in the Federal Court against Toyota in a bid to reinstate some of the 350 workers sacked earlier this month, according to Australian Financial Review.

The law firm claims a number of the workers were subjected to targeted and unlawful discrimination.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) will hold a protest outside the Altona factory in Melbourne’s west today.

The AMWU claims Toyota targeted union officials and safety representatives in the sackings, but Toyota says the dismissals were based on a points system agreed to with the union, with ratings given for skills, values, punctuality and attire.

But an assembly worker said he was sacked for being a union member and making a WorkCover claim over an elbow injury, according to The Australian. “They don’t think union members contribute,” he said. “I don’t believe in the assessment they gave me … I’m confused and I’m lost. I have a mortgage and three kids; I’ve got to try and keep our heads above water.”

AMWU spokesman Dave Smith said “a significant number” of union officials had been sacked.

“We’ve had some of our health and safety reps targeted. These are the very people who promote safety in the plant and scored very low on their own personal protective equipment,” Smith told the ABC after the dismissals.


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