Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Walk, but No Payout; Worker Had Two Years' Full-Time Abattoir Service

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Walk, but No Payout; Worker Had Two Years' Full-Time Abattoir Service

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DEEFHOLTS terry.deefholts@dailyexaminer.com.au

TWO meat workers have told The Examiner South Grafton abattoir owner Stuart Ramsey informed staff yesterday they were not entitled to redundancy payments as a result of the closure of the site.

Wayne Randall, 21, of South Grafton, said he had been working at the site for about two years in a permanent capacity on the slaughter floor and was surprised to hear Mr Ramsey say he and his colleagues wouldn't be entitled to a redundancy payout.

aThis really sucks; we've only got three weeks' notice,a he said.

aThere are people with mortgages and I've just got a $30,000 car loan.a

Mr Randall said he wasn't interested in moving to Casino and hoped to get more hours at his casual job at Hungry Jacks.

aHe told us we were guaranteed a job in Casino but we questioned this, saying realistically how can this be guaranteed?a

The Fair Work Ombudsman website says all employees working under Commonwealth workplace laws who had at least 12 months' continuous service and worked for an employer that employs 15 or more employees may be entitled to redundancy or severance payments under the National Employment Standards.

In Mr Randall's case, the website says he may be entitled to between four and six weeks' redundancy pay (depending on his start date).

Another permanent worker, who asked not to be named, corroborated Mr Randall's claim that Mr Ramsey told the group there would be no redundancies.

Information from the Fair Work Australia website states that an employer can apply to the authority to reduce employees' redundancy pay if the employer either:

Finds other acceptable employment for the employee, or

Is unable to pay the full redundancy entitlement.

The Examiner was unable to establish yesterday if such an application had been made.

Below is a list of questions sent to and answered by Casino solicitor Frank Hannigan, who represents Mr Ramsey.

Q: How many jobs are being offered at Northern Co-operative Meat Company in Casino for displaced South Grafton abattoir workers? …

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