Moe abattoir fate uncertain

WORKERS at the troubled HY Moe Meat abattoir are no closer to learning their fate after the plant’s owner failed to meet a promised 3 February deadline to restart production at its other abattoir at Lance Creek.

About 100 meat workers at Moe have now been without an income for almost two months and there is still no indication as to when production will start again.

Workers were told at a 22 January meeting with the company that Lance Creek would start on 3 February but there was no definitive reopening date at Moe.

It was hoped production would begin again at Moe soon after the Lance Creek reopening.

However last week Tabro Meats announced Lance Creek would not begin production until March, dealing a further blow to Moe Meat employees.

The situation has left more than 200 meat production jobs in the air at the two abattoirs, with workers forced to turn to Centrelink payments or to look for work elsewhere.

Australian Meat Industry Employees Union Victorian secretary Paul Conway said while the company had invested in buying and upgrading the Lance Creek and Moe abattoirs to increase production, it now could not afford higher-priced cattle to get the plants running again.

While the union has lobbied politicians for help for the workers, Mr Conway said there was “not a lot” more that could be done with a start date still uncertain. One worker told The Express last week that many frustrated employees had already ruled out a return to Moe and were looking elsewhere for work. The company did not respond to phone calls last week.