No Livestock means No Work – Secretary’s Report

“No livestock means no work. It’s that simple.”

Our industries, in particular the red meat sector, have continued to achieve record profits investing back into their operations. Whilst many of the conservative commentators are stating the Agrifoods sector is pleading industry poverty, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the Red meat processing industry. The major players in Northern NSW, Thomas Foods International, Nippon Wingham, Northern Co Operative Meat Company and Bindaree Beef have spent 100’s of millions in plant upgrades over the last couple of years.

Whilst it is great to see the major employers re-investing in our industry, it is disappointing that most companies have not expressed their concerns with the recent Turnbull government’s multimillion dollar tax payer funded advertising campaign supporting 2 very disturbing international trade agreements. The China Free Trade Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership. Further information is on the page 17 of December 2015 Journal linked.

The silence from the processors on these deals is a disgrace. AMIEU members do not understand why the Processors have lost their voices on challenging these agricultural agreements. The last time I experienced this Processor constructed silence was in 2009 when AMIEU Officials met with the major Meat Processors and their union the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) to seek public support to change live animal export policy. On that occasion the employers talked a lot but did not commit to assisting the union with campaigning to wind back live animal exports.

The end result was the AMIEU Campaign
received support from Animal welfare movement where we nearly achieved changing the Labor party’s positon at the ALP National Conference. Our resolution was lost by 8 votes.
When you have a good look at the China Free Trade Agreement even Blind Freddy can see this deal is bad for ongoing regional employment.
Take this scenario, if China take 1 million additional live cattle as the CFTA suggests, that will be 1 million less cattle to process locally which means 3000 Australian meat workers out of work. Cattle do not grow on trees nor can you simply dig up a further million if you were to compare our commodities (livestock) to the mining sector.

Barnaby Joyce, Federal Agricultural Minister who is the New England representative has taken ownership of the China Free Trade Agreement and states the deal will deliver more jobs.
Jobs for who is the question Barnaby needs to answer. It certainly won’t deliver any more work for locals at the 4 major meat works in his electorate who engage 2000 meat workers.

“These deals need to be scrapped to save Aussie jobs”

Watch the video below to see what the AMIEU campaign achieved in 2012 relating to protecting meat workers jobs in Australia.