Mosgiel meat workers are being forced onto the dole, or into precarious or part time low paid work as Government continues to turn a blind eye to the rapidly deteriorating meat industry, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says.
“While almost half of the workers from Silverstream’s Silver Fern plant have secured work at Balclutha’s Finegand works after the Mosgiel plant was mothballed for the season, the distance and cost of travelling means many may find it too expensive to continue at Finegand.
“Competition among companies for diminishing markets has left the meat industry in turmoil, and let down dozens of workers and their families.
“Reliance this season on carcass trade has taken the industry back 10 years or more, with the Silverstream workers less likely to have an oversupply of meat from other plants to start this season.
“The Government has been a bystander in all of this. We’ve already seen meat stuck on Chinese wharves because of paperwork errors. Now we’re seeing a decrease in demand for cut meat.
“Nathan Guy, the Minister of Primary Industries, and Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, are accountable for ensuring security of supply and markets. They need to sort it out.
“There’s something not right about the meat industry and it shouldn’t be the workers who have to bear the brunt of incompetence and lack of an industry plan.