MGjob fight grinds on as Jaala Pul­ford joins the fray

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

MUR­RAY Goul­burn work­ers at the Rochester fac­tory con­tinue to fight the de­ci­sion that their fac­tory will close.

Vic­to­rian Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford met with frus­trated work­ers, union of­fi­cials and coun­cil mem­bers at the fac­tory on Tues­day, see­ing first­hand the im­pact the clo­sure will have on our town.

Ms Pul­ford said there are still a lot of ques­tions that need to be an­swered.

‘‘There is a great pe­riod of un­cer­tainty with the work­ers and it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the his­tory of the place and the im­por­tance of the plant to the town,’’ she said.

‘‘Within the meet­ing I gave ac­count of the dis­cus­sions I have had with Mur­ray Goul­burn chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and to en­sure them there will be no stone un­turned.

‘‘We are en­sur­ing the sup­port of­fered is very per­sonal and that we in­clude all the busi­nesses and fam­i­lies in town that will also be af­fected by this clo­sure.’’

Ms Pul­ford said the meet­ing with MG chief ex­ec­u­tive Ari Mervis on Mon­day was quite open.

‘‘They are not yet through their own de­ci­sion mak­ing but there are a lot of ques­tions the work­ers need an­swered,’’ she said.

Na­tional Union of Work­ers re­gional or­gan­iser Mark Sch­midt said they have pro­vided a list of ques­tions to MG but are still wait­ing for the an­swers.

‘‘The frus­tra­tion is still there. They have made a de­ci­sion with­out think­ing of the im­pact it will have on the lives of the work­ers and the towns they work in,’’ he said.

‘‘We just want to know what no­tice pe­ri­ods the work­ers will get be­fore their jobs will be lost as well as any op­por­tu­ni­ties for mov­ing to other fac­to­ries and re­dun­dancy pack­ages.

Mr Sch­midt said it was im­por­tant to see the in­ter­est by the gov­ern­ment.

‘‘The work­ers want to know their union and com­mu­nity are sup­port­ing them but peo­ple want to see the sup­port of their gov­ern­ment and by the Min­is­ter com­ing down is show­ing the gov­ern­ment has been a lot more ac­tive,’’ he said.

The emo­tion was still raw two weeks on from the an­nounce­ment for MG worker of 23 years Mau­reen Scott. ‘‘It is just wrong,’’ she said. ‘‘No one is go­ing to hire a 59-yearold woman. Even if the com­pany do sell the fac­tory no one is go­ing to take me on.

‘‘And to think of what the CEOs and man­age­ment of MG are get­ting while they are cut­ting all our jobs is just wrong.’’

Ms Scott was off sick on the day of the an­nounce­ment and was no­ti­fied by her son call­ing her to ask if she was ok.

‘‘I got a call from my son ask­ing what I was go­ing to do, and I just asked him what he meant, I didn’t know they an­nounced they would close the fac­tory,’’ she said.

‘‘There is just no ac­count­abil­ity for their ac­tions.’’

Long-term MG worker Mau­reen Scott met with Vic­to­rian Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford, who said ‘‘we are en­sur­ing the sup­port of­fered is very per­sonal and that we in­clude all the busi­nesses and fam­i­lies in town that will also be af­fected by this clo­sure’’.

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