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195 Cobram abattoir workers sacked

by
September 20, 2017

Almost200 local abattoir memories have been made redundant after being shelved on indefinite shutdown since March.

ALMOST 200 local abattoir memories have been made redundant after being shelved on indefinite shutdown since March.

JBS – the Brazilian-based largest red meat processor in the world – first shut down its Cobram works in March because of soaring livestock prices.

That four-week hiatus was extended in April and after Easter staff were told the shutdown was indefinite, with September a possible resumption.

But the 195-strong workforce was called in by email this week and told they were all redundant.

A longtime worker at the plant said “it’s been four weeks, four weeks, six months – and now this”.

“They had to make a decision by October 23,” he said.

“They said they were doing us a favour by telling us five weeks early.”

JBS Southern chief operating officer Sam McConnell told ABC radio a decision on the future of both plants would be made when lamb numbers improve.

“At some stage we want to re-open the plants, when the livestock availability is there,” he said.

“The assets are worth a lot of money, you can’t just close and mothball.”

Mr McConnell said the Cobram site would need up to 500 head a day, which includes mutton, goats and lamb.

More details to come.

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