HOLDEN AGREES TO NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH

The Morrison Government has welcomed GM Holden’s guarantee to negotiate with car dealers in good faith, after its decision to withdraw from the Australian market

On the 22nd of May GM Holden made a commitment to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which the Morrison Government says is positive progress toward a fair compensation package for dealers and their employees.
The ACCC has found that GM Holden was placing undue pressure on dealers to accept their compensation package by 31 May. 
The ACCC found this deadline was ‘unnecessary and unfair’ and had advised it was preparing for court action had Holden not changed its position.
Holden also committed to meeting its obligations more generally under the Franchising Code and the Dealer Agreement Dispute Resolution provisions.
In a series of statements over recent weeks the Morrison Government has continued to put pressure on GM Holden to act in good faith.
One such statement was issued jointly in late June by the Honourable Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and Federal Member for McPherson; Western Australia Senator, the Honourable Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business; and Queensland Senator, the Honourable James McGrath.
The statement read:  
“General Motors must honour its promise to negotiate on compensation with Holden dealers in good faith, amid significant effort from dealers to resolve their ongoing dispute. 
“Dealers have repeatedly shown they are committed to working with GM Holden to reach an outcome and finalise protracted negotiations stemming from GM’s decision to retire the Holden brand in Australia. GM Holden should demonstrate that same commitment. 
“From day one the Morrison Government has made it clear to GM Holden that we expect them to negotiate in good faith and ensure a fair outcome for the Australian dealers who’ve carried their brand for decades, as well as their workers.
“(In the week beginning 15 June) Minister Andrews and Minister Cash met with GM Holden to reiterate that unequivocal expectation.  
“Australian consumers, dealers and the Government have shown great commitment to GM Holden over many years, including more than $2 billion in taxpayer support. It’s now time for this multinational to repay some of that faith. 
“General Motors must demonstrate they’re a good corporate citizen. They must also consider their international reputation.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to monitor the negotiations between the parties and is communicating with them. 
“The ACCC’s investigation is ongoing and is examining allegations relating to the good faith obligations of the Franchising Code of Conduct and the unconscionable conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.  
“The Morrison Government has also followed through on a promise to rebalance the new car retailing market, with Minister Andrews earlier this month introducing significant reforms to auto franchising regulations.”
 
Despite the 22 May agreement, the ACCC will continue its broader investigation into Holden’s engagement with dealers in relation to its withdrawal from Australia.