Ford workers are bracing for mass sackings at the company's Victorian plants in Broadmeadows and Geelong today.
The company announced in July that it was cutting 330 jobs and called for voluntary redundancies.
But it received only 118 requests, meaning 212 workers will effectively be fired.
Ford has declared a production-free day as it breaks the news to each worker individually.
The bulk of job losses will occur at Broadmeadows and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) representatives will be present to assist members.
AMWU vehicles division national secretary Dave Smith says it must be made clear the workers have done nothing wrong.
"They're being made redundant through no fault of their own, and I really want to stress that," he said.
"So that's the first hurdle they have to get over ...
that perception that these are discards or something like that - they are not.
"They are highly skilled workers that the company doesn't want to lose." Mr Smith says Ford has made guarantees it will treat departing employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades, with respect and dignity.
He says he is confident there will not be a repeat of scenes at Toyota's Altona plant in April, when workers were escorted off the site by security guards.
The union described those sackings as humiliating and "an insane situation".
Crippled Mr Smith says the strength of the Australian dollar and high export tariffs have crippled the local automotive manufacturing sector.
He says while Holden has committed to local production for another decade and Ford until 2016, the future of Toyota in Australia is less clear.
He is urging the Victorian Government to do more to promote the industry and steer restructuring efforts to ensure its longevity.
He says the Government must also provide retraining opportunities for workers left without a job.
"They're extremely anxious...
I don't envy any of those employees," he said.
"They're very, very passionate about their employer, they love building cars, they're proud of the cars that they build and...
they don't want to leave." Affected workers are due to begin arriving at the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants this morning.