Workers in the automotive paint business have long been a rarity in Australia.
The company, which supplies paint to Ford and Holden, was the only Australian company to be acquired by the US automaker.
The deal was signed in June last year.
However, in recent months, workers at a small Perth factory have been being laid off as part of a $2 billion deal to close a $1 billion paint manufacturing operation.
The job losses at the paint business are just one of many problems facing the Perth-based business, which employs more than 50 people.
“It’s just been a roller coaster ride.
The big thing is the Australian car industry and it’s not just us,” says James Wilson, who owns the business.
Wilson says the paint job industry is suffering because of a lack of capital investment and a lack in the availability of skilled workers.
“It’s a big business, we’re very much in a business of servicing and refurbishing cars,” he says.
But some paint workers say the problems have been worse for them than they were before the deal.
Wilson blames the paint company for the layoffs.
“They’re going to lose a lot of good quality workers.
And I don’t know if it’s their fault or not, but they’re just going to have to start doing something,” he said.
This week the company said the paint work was a one-time arrangement and would be ended on the 1st of July.
In the meantime, workers are going back to their jobs, and the Australian Automobile Association says the job cuts will have a “very negative impact” on the local paint industry.
A spokesperson for the association said the company was working with the union to provide “support and guidance”.
“We’re working to provide the support and guidance needed for all affected workers, both at the factory and at other paint plants,” the spokesperson said.