Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has given JBS Swift's King Island abattoir workers fresh hope, announcing the State Government is prepared to offer financial assistance to get them back to work.
Through offers of financial assistance and guarantees, the Government has secured in-principle support from the company to re-open the facility by Wednesday, next week.
Mr Bartlett addressed affected workers at a meeting today in the King Island Town Hall.
“My number one priority is jobs – your jobs,” he said.
“You have been treated appallingly by the company and it is not good enough.
“The State Government will offer short term financial assistance to secure the re-opening of the abattoir while the company reviews its operations and cost structures over the next eight weeks.
“For this assistance to flow we require the company to reinstate all employees on full pay.
“There is a lot of work to be done between now and Wednesday to make this happen.
“As far as I am concerned, workers deserve to get paid while the company does its review - many families on this island are dependent on those pay cheques,” Mr Bartlett said.
The Government meanwhile will continue discussions with the company on the challenges it is facing and the best way forward.
“Our long term objective is to secure the ongoing operation of the King Island abattoir as a viable and sustainable business.
“The Government is committed to saving every single job possible on King Island and protecting the King Island brand,” Mr Bartlett said.
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