Wrap up of 2016

As we come to end of another busy year, I would just like to do a quick wrap up of what’s been going on in the regional sheds.

It’s been a tough year for the processors especially the beef processors.  With record high prices and a decline in the national herd has seen one large processor close their beef production indefinitely.  The Manildra Meat Company was left with no alternative then to close down their beef production.

Unfortunately, the news doesn’t get any better for Manildra Meats and some of the other processors with expected high prices and low numbers to continue well into 2018.  Manildra Meats will continue to process lambs with the intent to move back into beef production as soon as practicable.

Teys Wagga Wagga – is one of the larger processors feeling the pinch of a tightening beef market.  Teys regularly have down days and at one stage, were only processing 3 days a week.  At capacity Teys were processing between 1250-1300 head of cattle per day 5 days a week.

We have recommenced negotiations for a new enterprise agreement and at the time of writing this are now a few meetings into it.  I appreciate all the assistance and input from the delegates and EBA Committee.  I would also like to thank Diana Sully who has come on board as an organiser and has been assisting me with the negotiations.

I’m confident over the next few meetings, we will be very close to securing a good agreement for the workers at Teys.

If any of the Teys workers have or may be facing a downgrade and believe this to be in error…please make sure you contact me on 0417 024 131.

JBS Riverina Beef – appear to be bucking the trend when it comes to beef production.  Riverina Beef are fortunate enough to be attached to a rather large feedlot and combine this with their established cliental, have gone through 2016 with very little down time.  A big thanks to Grant and Jonathon the delegates at the site for all their assistance in sorting out the issues that arise from time to time.

Monbeef – have a small beef processing plant in Cooma and are another processor feeling the pinch at the moment.  On a couple of occasions now I’ve arranged to visit the site only to be notified that there was no production on these particular days.  I’m looking to get down to Cooma in the coming month and talk with the company about negotiations for a new agreement with the old one expiring shortly.

CMP at Cowra – although a small operator they manage to put through quite a lot of stock.  Cowra process Lamb, Beef and Pigs for the domestic market.

They have also won quite a few awards for their meat including ribbons at the 2016 Royal Easter Show.  A big thanks to Mick our delegate at the site, through thick and thin he has been there for the AMIEU and the workers.  The next step at CMP is to secure a new agreement.

Hilltop Meats at Young process beef only, at the moment but like some of the other beef processors, had to also reduce their production to 4 days a week due to the short supply of animals.

Fletchers Dubbo – Like the beef industry the sheep and lamb industry have also experienced a downturn.  Fletchers, a benchmark for the sheep industry are still only working a single shift operation at their Dubbo site.

The plant is set up for 2 shifts but due to low stock numbers and high stock prices, the plant has only been operating a single shift for most of 2016 with regular down days throughout the year.

It’s not all doom and gloom there is some optimism out there.  I’m sure once the countryside dries out a bit we should start seeing some better numbers at the sales.  Hopefully Fletchers will be back to a 2- shift arrangement in the early months of 2017.  A big thank you to our delegates Grizz, Brian and Brad (for part of the year) for the great job they do out at Dubbo, their support for the workers out there is second to none.

I’d also like to thank the workers at Fletchers for their continued support of the AMIEU and look forward to beginning negotiations for a new agreement next year.

Southern Meats Goulburn – have also been experiencing the ups and downs of the sheep industry at the moment. 2016 has been a tough year for Southern Meats, which saw them have regular down days and an extended shut down during the winter months.   Hopefully they will see the numbers pick up as things start warming up and a little relief on the price of stock as well.  Thanks to all the members at Southern Meats for their continued support of the AMIEU.

JMP Junee – The workers at JMP have unfortunately seen a few early days this year due to reduced lamb numbers but I’m sure things will pick up now that JMP have secured a Woolworth contract.  Good luck with everything out there, look forward to sitting down with the workers and company, and re-negotiating a new enterprise agreement.

GMP Gundagai – firstly I would like to thank Anthony, and the other delegates for their support in securing a new enterprise agreement at GMP.  I couldn’t have done it without their assistance and the continued support of the workers at the plant.  Again a big thank you!!.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the girls’ from the VA room and to wish them all the best for the future.

It’s business as usual at GMP.  There was a short closure mid year due to some maintenance and upgrades in the boning room.

Rivalea Corowa – I’ve only been servicing this shed over the past 8 months.  We are in the process of putting together an agreement for the Abattoir side of production.  I would like to thank the Abattoir delegates for their patience and support through this sometimes, complex process.

Production has slowed at the site and as a result, voluntary redundancies have been offered to workers in the boning room.  I’m looking forward to my continued visits to the site and hopefully secure a new agreement for the abattoir.

RPFC Dubbo – a dry pet food company processing in Dubbo.  We have commenced negotiations for a new agreement at the site.  I look forward to working closely with all the workers so we can secure the best deal possible.

I would also like to thank the members and potential members at the site for their continued support of the AMIEU.

Thank you to all the delegates and members for their support for AMIEU and myself during 2016.   I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and safe holidays, I look forward to catching up with everyone in the New Year.

In Unity,

Mark Perkins
0417 024 131