Mataura job cuts rumour quickens
Workers at the Alliance Group's Mataura meat processing plant are fearing for their jobs as rumours grow of large-scale cuts.
However, management was tightlipped yesterday on the concerns, refusing to confirm if there was any truth to the rumours, or even if a meeting was to be held tomorrow for any kind of announcement.
Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff said the only comment he would make was that the company was always looking to improve the plant's capacity and the public would be informed of any changes.
Workers at the plant said they had heard an announcement was to be made to staff tomorrow and they believed it related to job cuts, particularly in the plant's lamb and mutton processing.
Alliance Group director John Lindsay said it was "just a rumour", while Alliance Group chairman Owen Poole declined to comment on the speculation.
Meat Workers' Union Otago Southland branch president Daryl Carran said he had not been told about a meeting or possible job losses.
"I'll be completely flabbergasted if something happens like this . . . It would be an expectation that we know what's happening."
Mr Carran said the Mataura plant was expected to finish its season yesterday, which was part of a typical end-of-season wind-down.
It was no secret market returns had dropped, and seasons and work days were shorter, Mr Carran said.
"It's absurd where you have workers earning pitiful money.
"It can't go on."
Mr Carran said it was strange Mr Cuff would not confirm if a meeting was going ahead.
He said Mr Cuff added to speculation with his comment.
For the year ended September 30, 2011, the Alliance Group had a net loss of $9 million after tax and pool surplus distributions.
The Alliance Group will hold its shareholder and supplier meeting next Monday in Gore.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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