More than 3,000 employees on Friday walked off the job for 24 hours at car manufacturer Toyota plants in Melbourne and Sydney of Australia, demanding pay hike.
According to acting national secretary for the vehicle division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, Dave Smith, the employees have not had a pay rise since early 2010, but Toyota could only offer an immediate one percent rise.
He said Toyota approached the union on Thursday with a two-year agreement which would involve an immediate 500 U.S. dollars payment and a one percent rise, plus three percent rises in April 2012 and 2013.
"It's been close to 17 months since the guys last received an increase so when the company puts one percent on the table it's a hard offer for them to sell," Smith told Australia Associated Press on Friday.
Smith said a further three weeks of Thursday/Friday 24 hours stoppages are planned.
Meanwhile, Toyota said its pay offers were fair and responsible.
"The company had offered a wage increase proposal of 11 percent over 39 months in late July, and (on Thursday) following the union 's request, offered three options for a seven percent increase over two years plus a bonus," Toyota said in a statement on Friday.
"All offers were rejected by the unions."
Toyota Australia said it continues to be willing to hold discussions with the unions and employees to achieve an agreement.
The work stoppage hit the Toyota manufacturing plant at Altona, in Melbourne's West, and a warehouse in Sydney. The Altona plant produces the four-cylinder Camry, Hybrid Camry, and six-cylinder Aurion models, with more than 559 cars built per day.