Last day done
More than 200 jobs gone as slaughter, boning room close
YESTERDAY marked the end of an era for Ipswich and hundreds of workers who made a living in local abattoirs.
The last animals were killed and boned at Churchill Abattoir on Thursday and Friday, signalling the final day at work for more than 200 people, some of whom have been in the job more than 30 years.
Further jobs will be lost next year when the case ready, sausage and corning room cease operations permanently.
FOR some Churchill Abattoir workers, more than 30 years of commitment came to an end yesterday.
Up to 270 people left the plant for the last time on Thursday and Friday when the last animals were killed, the slaughter room closed and the ‘chiller boys’ finished up in the boning room.
It’s just the start of a ripple effect as more than 300 workers will be out of a job next year when the case ready, sausage and corning room stop operations.
While work is drying up, it’s only just getting started for the unions, government agencies and support services working around the clock to find roles for displaced employees.
Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union organiser Warren Earle said for some of the workers, the redundancies marked the end of decades spent in the same job.
He said camaraderie was at an all-time high at the plant this week as employees prepared to continue their friendships outside work.
“More than 50% of the workforce has been here for more than 10 years,” he said.
“There is strong camaraderie, they’re all taking selfies and meeting after work for a meal at the pub.
“A lot of the group has worked together for a long time so they will miss that.
“There is still a bit more for us to do in trying to get as many into jobs as possible and putting pressure on the companies not giving them a fair chance.”
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said there was still time for the Federal Government to consider extra financial support for the impacted workers.
He said up to $9000 was on offer for workers who needed to leave Ipswich to find a job – but they needed to wait a year to get it.
Federal Government financial incentives are available to re-locate for work but only for those who have been on unemployment benefits like Newstart and Youth Allowance for more than 12 months.
Mr Neumann is pushing the government to waive the waiting period for workers affected by the closure of the abattoir and Steggles.
“I’m calling on the government to be flexible, they’ve done it before so I know they can. There are jobs available in other locations but if the government waives this, they might be in a position to take that up.”
JOBS CRISIS: Hundreds of Ipswich meat workers are looking for a job from this week.