MORE THAN 100 Tamar Valley Dairy Company workers were assured yesterday that their jobs should be secure.
Australian Workers Union assistant state secretary Robert Flanagan told members at the Launceston business - which voluntarily called in administrators this week - that they should have a solid future.
Mr Flanagan said that he had met state Economic Development Minister David O'Byrne yesterday afternoon regarding the situation at the River Street, Invermay factory.
"We walked away with a sense of confidence regarding the future because it was clear to us that Mr O'Byrne had a clear understanding of the significance of Tamar Valley Dairy as a major employer in the Launceston area," he said.
Mr O'Byrne said later that he had been briefed on Economic Development Department officers' meeting with Tamar Valley Dairy administrators from Deloittes in Melbourne.
"I feel confident that we will be able to provide some level of assistance for this distressed company," Mr O'Byrne said.
"There is still a long way to go, but the state government's first priority is to ensure that this iconic company remains open and its workers retain their jobs."
Mr Flanagan said that there was a 110-strong permanent workforce supported by 23 administrative staff at the 17-year-old yoghurt-making company.
It built a new, purpose-built factory about a block away from its original Invermay site two years ago.
It appears that the business got into difficulty when it used working capital to build the factory instead of sourcing investment funds, Mr Flanagan said.
At the same time there had been a drop in production levels and a shrinking of margins, he said.