MG workers continue fight for 105 jobs in Rochester

May 19, 2017

Maureen Scott and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.

MURRAY Goulburn workers at the Rochester factory continue to fight the decision that their factory will close.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford met with frustrated workers, union officials and council members at the factory on Tuesday, seeing first hand the impact the closure will have on the town.

Ms Pulford said there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

‘‘There is a great period of uncertainty with the workers and it is important to remember the history of the place and the importance of the plant to the town,’’ she said.

‘‘Within the meeting I gave account of the discussions I have had with Murray Goulburn CEO and to ensure them there will be no stone unturned.

‘‘We are ensuring the support offered is very personal and that we include all the businesses and families in town that will also be affected by this closure.’’

Ms Pulford said the meeting with MG chief executive Ari Mervis on Monday was quite open.

‘‘They are not yet through their own decision making but there are a lot of questions the workers need answered,’’ she said.

National Union of Workers regional organiser Mark Schmidt said they have provided a list of questions to MG but are still waiting for the answers.

‘‘The frustration is still there. They have made a decision without thinking of the impact it will have on the lives of the workers and the towns they work in,’’ he said.

‘‘We just want to know what notice periods the workers will get before their jobs will be lost as well as any opportunities for moving to other factories and redundancy packages.

Mr Schmidt said it was important to see the interest by the government.

‘‘The workers want to know their union and community are supporting them but people want to see the support of their government and by the Minister coming down is showing the government has been a lot more active,’’ he said.

The emotion was still raw two weeks on from the announcement for MG worker of 23 years Maureen Scott.

‘‘It is just wrong,’’ she said.

‘‘No one is going to hire a 59-year-old woman. Even if the company do sell the factory no one is going to take me on.

‘‘And to think of what the CEO’s and management of MG are getting while they are cutting all our jobs is just wrong.’’

Ms Scott was off sick on the day of the announcement and was notified by her son calling her to ask if she was ok.

‘‘I got a call from my son asking what I was going to do, and I just asked him what he meant, I didn’t know they announced they would close the factory,’’ she said.

‘‘There is just no accountability for their actions.’’

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