The faces behind the fallout

April 11, 2018

Riverside Meats. Photo by Luke Hemer.

■JANELLE Boothey says she is in the same boat as everyone else.

She’s desperate for her money and she wants the more than $19,000 she is owed.

‘‘They need to pay up,’’ Janelle said.

‘‘We’re the ones that have to sit back and get nothing after everything we’ve done.

‘‘Each and every one of us works hard.

‘‘At the end of it most of the slaughts were doing two or three jobs by themselves and they didn’t care.

‘‘It’s physical hard work and this is how we get repaid.

‘‘Now we’ve got to fight for our money.’’

The Deniliquin woman had worked at the facility for almost 11 years. She is the only woman on the creditor’s list.

‘‘I’m pretty pissed off,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a lot of money when I’m struggling.

‘‘I was a labourer and I used to help the slaughts out a fair bit.

‘‘I could trim beef, do the fat scoring on the pigs. I loved working out there and most of the people out there are great people.’’

Janelle said she did not have a problem with the company until now.

‘‘I’m wild, just like everybody else,’’ she said.

‘‘My partner is sick so you’ve got to try and get money from somewhere.

‘‘I am not the only one struggling out there.’’

Janelle said she would not work at an abattoir again.

‘‘I know someone who went to another abattoir and they said they weren’t skilled enough,’’ she said.

■ECHUCA’S Greg Williams has nothing nice to say about Riverside Meats.

‘‘Like everyone else I am not impressed,’’ he said.

Mr Williams has worked at the abattoir for nine years and is owed more than $23,000.

‘‘It would come in handy at the moment,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m not receiving employee benefits.

‘‘The lack of management causes them to be in the situation they are in, is my opinion.’’

The 54-year-old said he had enjoyed the hours of the job but now did not expect to find employment because of his health.

‘‘In the past five years I’ve had open heart surgery and cancer and at 54 no-one wants to know me so my chance of gaining employment in any industry is very limited,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve been left with problems from the cancer.’’

■RODNEY Duke is owed more than $30,000 from Riverside Meats and is furious he has not been paid.

The Echuca man, 33, left high school to work at the Echuca abattoir and had been there for 14 years.

Fortunately, Mr Duke has found employment since, but he said he was desperate to be paid his entitlements.

Mr Duke said he had heard the facility would re-open in the future but there was no chance he would return to it or any other abattoir.

■MOAMA’S Stephen Jinnette has been struggling since he lost his job last month.

Mr Jinnette is owed more than $12,000 in entitlements from Riverside Meats but said others were in far worse situations than him.

‘‘I’ve been struggling heaps,’’ he said.

‘‘I haven’t got a mortgage and children to look after but it’s still hurting me so it’s got to be hurting them.’’

Mr Jinnette, who worked at the abattoir for five years, said he would not work at another one.

‘‘Not after this,’’ he said.

Mr Jinnette said he would have liked management to be ‘‘up front about it and pay everyone’’.

‘‘They were doing the liquidation well before they actually put us off,’’ he said.

‘‘It took me a bit by surprise.

‘‘I was waiting to get my entitlements so that I could get a few bills out of the way but now I am even more in debt.’’

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