AMIEU Branch Secretary Matt Journeaux, AMIEU Branch Organiser for the JBS Dinmore site Warren Earle, Queensland Branch President Keith Haslem, on-site AMIEU Delegates Pat “Tangles” Wilson, Dave Phillips and Shane Milsom meeting with Shayne Neumann, Member for Blair (and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) and Brendan O’Connor, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

AMIEU representatives met last week with Shadow Ministers for Immigration and Industrial Relations to voice strong concerns about the current crisis of stand downs taking place at the Dinmore site.

The AMIEU expressed to the Ministers how the stands downs are affecting workers and how tough times are with many employees struggling to pay for basic necessities such as food and housing. The Ministers were told workers cannot sustain the current situation and something must give as many of the workers have exhausted all leave accruals and are now facing serious financial crisis. A bleak Xmas is fast approaching for many employees and a with 5 week Xmas shut down flagged this will only exacerbate their plight.

The AMIEU acknowledged many contributing factors to the current cattle shortage such as; years of drought, record kills and recent rain. But live export is an area where something can – and should – be done to mitigate cattle shortage to Australian meat processors in order to create work and protect jobs in our local communities.

The Ministers were told since 2001 live export has increased 400% and if that trajectory continues, there will be no jobs left for Aussie workers. The meat industry has a long proud history and is the largest employer in the Australian Manufacturing Industry however, if Government does not address live export and its effect on the Australian meat processing industry there will be no jobs. The Ministers were told that if something is not done it is very possible that when Australians walk into a supermarket they will be purchasing meat which was processed, packaged and sent from China.

The LNP are promoters of live export and care very little for meat workers and their jobs. The AMIEU told the Ministers that meatworkers need their support. The Labor party is the party of the workers and we want their voices to be heard.

The Ministers gave a considerable amount of time to listen and promised to take our message back to Canberra. Minister Neumann further promised that a meeting will be arranged soon with Joel Fitzgibbon the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Australia.