Abattoir workers' future uncertain

THE union representing the 120 meatworkers stood down from Killarney Abattoir has called for an urgent meeting with Leitch Pastoral Group to put an end to the uncertainty.

Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union secretary Brian Crawford yesterday approached the group about a round-table meeting in an attempt to find some certainty for members.

“Employees need a definite date for an answer about thefuture of the works so they can plan their own futures,” Mr Crawford said.

“The AMIEU understands this is a difficult time for the group; but members at both Killarney and Pittsworth plants need to be able to make some decisions of their own.”

A suspended Killarney meatworker yesterday described the second week of a Leitch Pastoral Group stand-down at Killarney Abattoir as being caught in “no-man’s land”.

“It would have been preferable to have been made redundant; at least we would be able to plan for our future,” he said.

“As it is we are just left with an application form for Centrelink, which is meant to give us a $400 fortnightly entitlement.

“That is not going to go a long way when you have house repayments and car loans based on a $1200-a-week wage.”

Leitch Pastoral Group owner Dudley Leitch said yesterday he was working through management and financial issues with the company-appointed consultants Grant Thornton this week.

He said an in-depth meeting with the specialists and management was set down for tomorrow.

“There is a possibility we will have a clearer idea about thefuture of the three meat entities later this week,” Mr Leitch said.

However he would not be drawn on when the findings would be made public.

Meanwhile Mr Crawford said any union members experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet financial commitments should contact the AMIEU.

“If people are in a difficultfinancial situation or havingtrouble making repayments, we will offer assistance in anyway we can,” he said.

“But what we need to do more than anything is to be finding them some certainty for the future.”

Need advice? Contact the AMIEU on 3217 3766.

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