Farmer steps up in jobs crisis with Christmas work

MORE than three decades ago, David Matthews was facing the same uncertain fate hundreds of Churchill Abattoir workers will experience from today.

Mr Matthews was made redundant from a job in the meatworks industry more than 30 years ago and now he's doing all he can to help workers impacted by the closure of Churchill Abattoir and Steggles.

He's got up to 15 jobs available working with corn, beans, broccoli and pumpkin at Mulgowie Farming Company for hard working, well-presented and consistent employees to help them into new roles in the lead up to the Christmas period.

The last animals will be slaughtered at Churchill Abattoir today and they will be boned tomorrow, leaving up to 250 people without work from Friday when the slaughter and boning rooms close.

Another 300 will lose their jobs when the Woolworths- managed sausage room, packaging room and corning room stopped operations next year.

Up to 400 people are expected to lose their jobs when Steggles chicken processing facility at Wulkuraka stops operations next year.

While he can't offer roles for everyone, Mr Matthews joins a long list of local and interstate companies extending opportunities to workers in the wake of the jobs crisis.

"We are particularly interested in the people who live to the west of Ipswich, as this would reduce any travel time getting to work as we are located at Mulgowie," he said.

"We would not be able to help everyone but we might be able to prove some source of income for people leading into Christmas. All of our employees start as casual and then as full time opportunities present we take them from our casual pool of people."

Mr Matthews said he was well aware of the uncertain and worrying time impacted Churchill Abattoir and Steggles workers were about to face.

"I know people from the meat industry are hard working and that is a good attribute to have going into any kind of employment," he said.

"Having gone through one of these myself, I know it can be quite confronting and you need to keep things ticking along."