Killarney Abattoir staff face reduced work hours
KILLARNEY Abattoir work- ers are facing a lean Christ- mas as the meat-processing plant rolls back its operation- al hours. Owner Hector Hancock said a seasonal shortage of stock was one of the reasons the ab- attoir was forced to shorten its working week. "A combination of excep- tional circumstances such as drought-breaking rains, the lowest level of sheep numbers in Australia this decade and the Australia dollar peaking at record highs has impacted Killarney Abattoir,'' Mr Han- cock said. "When production is down this is usually offset by higher returns for our by-products such as hides, tallow and meat meal. "But as we all know, with a high dollar our exports are worth less, therefore, we are faced with not only low production but lower returns as well.'' He said to maintain the present level of employees, the abattoir had decided in the short term to reduce the working hours from 38 hours to 30 hours per week. This would take effect on Monday, he said. "Since notifying staff of the change to their employment, we have seen a drop in the Australian dollar which hope- fully will lead to a recovery in returns for our by-products and have had contact from po- tential new customers seeking processing services as well as wanting to source meat and meat products,'' Mr Hancock said. "Killarney Abattoir is confi- dent these conditions will only last a short while and look forward to busier times as well as creating more em- ployment in our community.