Australian union, AMWU, is urging Ford and Holden to make a long term commitment to local parts suppliers after 400 members at Autodom returned to work this week.

Uncertainty remains however, as to whether workers will be paid during the imminent Christmas-New Year period or indeed whether or not there will be production at all during the holiday period.

The labour body - Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union - claims it was instrumental in securing a resumption of work at Autodom - currently in administration - but a General Motors Holden (GMH) spokesman yesterday (8 November) told just-auto it and Ford had bailed out the component maker to the tune of US$6.8m.

As sole stamping supplier at the time to GMH, the US automaker possibly had no choice other than to step in, but the AMWU is also claiming its fair share of the limelight, maintaining it was its "hard work" that ensured members were fully paid for the days they were stood down.

The company is now in the hands of administrators, McGrathNicol as they search for a buyer for the Victoria and South Australia States supplier, with the union organising mass meetings of Autodom workers at its Clayton South, New Gisborne and Woodville sites insisting they will "keep on the backs" of the receivers.

The union has also fixed a date of next Wednesday (14 November) for the receiver to return with assurances on holiday pay and production during the Christmas-New Year period, while encouraging its members to attend the first creditors meetings.

"You can be assured we're in there fighting for your best interests," AMWU Victoria assistant state secretary, Leigh Diehm, said, addressing 140 of his members at the Dandenong South facility.

"Nothing gets agreed without your approval. These companies need you as much as you need them."

GMH told just-auto yesterday the situation had seemed "quite difficult," as it could have seen product difficulties within seven to nine days of the original shut-down of Autodom, but its financial aid had led to a resumption of work on 6 November.

Autodom subsidiary, DAIR Industries, produces rear bumper assemblies, foot brakes, clutch mechanisms, hood hinges and parking brakes for Ford, Toyota, GMH and truck maker Kenworth.

Autodom was not immediately available for comment from Australia.