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Ford Australia announces 440 job cuts

July 17, 2012 - Sydney

Automaker Ford announced Tuesday that it would sack 440 Australian workers due to scaled back production in the country. The move to sack the employees is part of company's restricting to address plunging sales and comes despite a multimillion-dollar government bailout announced earlier this year. The employees in Ford's manufacturing plants in Geelong and Broadmeadows will face the axing.

The Auto industry in Australia is facing a crisis due to the high local dollar and the rising production costs. Though the recent global recession did not affect Australia, it however showed an impact on domestic confidence. The Australian government tried to help the auto industry by extending a $3.3 billion bailout and has given additional lifelines to Ford and Holden early this year.

President of Ford Australia Bob Graziano said that the changes will allow see production pulled back from 210 cars to 150 cars per day from November. Ford earlier sacked 240 employees in last April when it scaled back production from 260 cars daily. The latest cuts would mean that Ford will be left with 1120 factory workers.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews is not pleased with the announcement. He said: "I think today's announcement will have a lot of taxpayers confused and quite a few taxpayers angry that we have provided as a community, a significant amount of money to this company and to others and instead of seeing stability, instead of seeing a return for that investment we're in fact seeing 400 people losing their jobs,"

The Federal Industry Minister of Australia Greg Combet said that no new federal funding will be allotted to the car industry. The Australian auto industry has about 56,000 people and exports about Aus$3.3 billion worth of vehicles. Holden has sacked 100 workers in February, a week after Toyota fired 250 employees.

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