Workers at JBS Dinmore have been stood down over Easter.
Workers at JBS Dinmore have been stood down over Easter.

Stood down meat workers fuming over missed pay

A WORKER at an Ipswich meatworks which employs about 1100 people says staff are fuming they will miss out on public holiday pay as they are stood down over Easter with the company's reasoning "just a line they've used over and over".

Meat workers at JBS Dinmore were stood down from last Friday with the company saying it was due to a cattle shortage.

Kill floor staff are set to return the Wednesday after Easter and staff in the boning room the following day.

About 600 jobs were cut from the Ipswich site last year.
About 600 jobs were cut from the Ipswich site last year.

Staff at the Ipswich facility are daily hire, which means their employer only needs to give them a day's notice to stand them down without pay.

One worker, who did not want to be identified, said if you don't have any holidays, sick leave or long service leave, they wouldn't be paid for more than a week.

Missing out on public holiday pay would be a big blow for many workers after a difficult year.

"If they have a stand down they let you claim one of those days," he said.

"If you don't have a day to claim you don't get the public holiday.

"You're missing out completely if you can't claim a day. They don't have to pay you for the public holiday if you don't have any.

"We want to work.

"They're saying it's due to the unavailability of cattle. That's just a line they've used over and over. People have had enough.

"With what's happened over the past year most people have used all of them up."

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It has been a particularly tough year for the meatworks.

JBS sacked 600 people from the site in September and workers' shifts were drastically cut in the months leading up to that decision.

The worker said maintenance would be done on a boiler while workers were stood down.

He said it was a common concern among workers they will again be stood down again for longer periods when the site is expanded.

"That's been running on three legs for five weeks," he said.

"We've been working all through these floods until now.

"They did it in 2016 and we had 36 days off when they rebuilt the boning room."

Despite the QT asking JBS numerous questions about the operation of the plant, the company's response was brief.

"The Queensland and Australian meat processing sector has and continues to cut production due to a severe livestock shortage," a JBS spokesperson said.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.