JBS Swift’s Longford abattoir employees awaiting the news they could go back to work were disappointed yesterday when the company extended their suspension for a further four weeks.
This announcement comes after 130 employees were suspended in late February.
The company cited a sheep and lamb shortage as the reason and JBS representative John Berry said the situation had remained the same since the initial announcement.
“It’s happening across the whole east coast of Australia,” Mr Berry said.
JBS will review its position next month and make further decisions about the suspension then.
“We will talk more closer to the four-week mark,” he said.
The Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) Tasmanian state secretary Troy Baker said the suspension meant the JBS abattoir workforce was in limbo.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” Mr Baker said.
“These people are still technically employed, but they’re not sure how secure their employment is,” he said.
JBS Swift told suspended employees they could access leave, but many have none available to them, Mr Baker said.
“Most are the same [employees] who were stood down last year,” he said.
The AMIEU is currently looking at options for JBS’ suspended workers, including whether they can be made redundant, Mr Baker said.