News

Chicken company lays off workers

INGHAM will lose almost a third of its workers at its Byron Bay chicken processing plant.

The announcement comes less than a year after the giant Ingham group bought out the former Sunnybrand plant with assurances from the-then owners that no jobs would be lost.

The company, one of Byron Bay's biggest employers, announced on Monday that it would lay off 70 to 80 of its 250 employees, including supervisors and managers.

At a meeting at the Ewingsdale Rd plant on Monday afternoon, staff were offered voluntary redundancies.

Ingham blamed compliance with Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) waste water standards as a "major contributing factor" to the job cuts.

A spokeswoman said those constraints were not evident when Ingham took over the plant last April.

"To meet the EPA standards for waste water at its current processing rate would require a significant capital expenditure which is not possible at this time," she said.

"The company has therefore decided that a significant reduction in production is required. This was not an easy decision but is the best option to secure ongoing employment for some employees."

Meat Workers Union Newcastle secretary Grant Courtney described the announcement as a "devastating blow" for the town and is calling on Ingham to reconsider.

He said the job cuts had followed a decision to reduce the weekly chicken kill by 100,000 a week.

The union will ask priority of employment be given to long-term staff.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Mullum's iconic poinciana tree to be chopped down

TOO DANGEROUS: Mullumbimby's iconic poinciana tree is set to be cut down as early as next week.

"People have a lot of emotional connection to the tree"

NORPA set to launch 2018 season

FUN: The NORPA launch has become a highlight of the Lismore social calendar every year.

Have you sent your RSVP to the free event?

Roll up for Beatles stories

SHE SAID SHE SAID: Joanne Petersen was Brian Epstein's personal assistant during the heyday of the Beatles.

Night of Beatles songs and conversation.

Local Partners