15 Jun 2010

Lamb, mutton workers fear further redundancies

1:47 pm on 15 June 2010

The Meatworkers Union says those working in the mutton and lamb processing trade are nervous about their jobs, following the announcement of job cuts on Monday.

It says further redundancies in the industry may well follow Silver Fern Farms' announcement that it plans to axe 174 jobs at two of its processing plants.

Silver Fern says it wants to close its Canterbury lamb cutting plant and the rendering and casings departments at its Belfast plant.

It also plans to restructure its coldstore department at Belfast.

The union's national secretary, Dave Eastlake, says the smaller national lamb kill is putting pressure on meat companies.

He says the union doesn't believe it will be able to prevent the job losses at Silver Fern's Canterbury lamb plant but it will ask it to reconsider its plan to restructure parts of the Belfast plant.