Tag Archives: QLD meat processor

Rockhampton – Lakes Creek

There is a historical Lakes Creek abattoir and the current facility that Teys operate at Rockhampton. It is not clear if the two sites are the same location or one was dismantled and another built.

Other Names

  • Rockhampton abattoir – there is another facility in Rockhampton operated by JBS, Rockhampton (QLD – JBS)
  • Lakes Creek abattoir

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #7 – Teys Australia Meat Group Pty Ltd.45
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.45
  • Direct employment enquiries to Teys Employment Information

Location   Owner

Teys Logo_edited-1Source www.teysaust.com.au. the Teys-Cargill Australia Logo

Operation

  • Teys operate 3 feedlots12
    • Jindalee (NSW)12
    • Condamine (QLD)12
    • Charlton (Vic)12
  • Hide Processing Facility in Murgon12
  • Value adding facilities12
    • Hemmant – Produces cooked deli smallgoods and convenience meals12
    • Wagga Wagga – produces case ready goods for retail12

For employment information go to  Teys Employment Information

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

 

History of Rockhampton – Lakes Creek #7

1871

  • The Lakes Creek abattoir was built.(Pg 261)15
    • Owned by an English company – Central Queensland Meat Export Company15
  • Operated as a cannery35
  • The plant was a dominent element in the regions economy40
    • at this time Lakes Creek was a company town40
    • meatworks built housing for its employees40

1872

  • Lakes Creek processes three quarters of all the sheep processed by Queensland canneries (Pg 39)35
  • Facility was heavily in debt due to mainly expenses associated with the Jone patent process (Pg 39)35
    • authors note – I have not found what this patent was but assume it was to do with the technology and process of canning meat.

1874

  • April. company was bankrupt35
  • Enforced closure of the facility due to the high price of cattle. (Pg 261)15
    • Remained idle until 187715

1877

  • Facility was purchased by liquidators of Whitehead & Co. (Pg 261)15
    • Proposal was to move boiling downs works that Whitehead’s owned from Laurel Bank to Lakes Creek.15
    • Whitehead & Co also owned a meatworks at Ramornie (NSW, near Grafton)15
    • Whitehead & Co had a contract to supply 2M lb of preserved meats to the French Government but had been unable to obtain sufficent cattle in NSW to fill the contract15

1880

  • Whitehead & co went into liquidation (Pg 261)15
    • closure was stated as not being the fault of the Lakes Creek operation itself15
  • A second Central QLD Meat Export Co. was formed and reopened the works (Pg 261)15

1883

  • A freezing plant was added (Pg 261)15
  • September this year the chambers were full of frozen meat for the pioneering enterprise of exporting frozen product on the Fiado. The Ship was late and a fire went through the facility15
    • Opportunity had been robbed of Lakes Creek the honour of sending the first consignment to Britian15
      • In 1884 the first cargo of frozen meat was loaded from Bowen but a cyclone stranded the vessel, destroyed the product and the Bowen works.(Pg 262)15
      • The first frozen consignments from Australia didn’t occur until 1896.15
    • 200 employees were out of work15

1884

  • Works resumed operations (Pg 261)15

1885

  • Company went into liquidation (Pg 261)15
    • Due mainly to the expense of rebuilding and installing imported plant equipment15

1886

  • Melbourne Syndicate took the facility over (Pg 261)15
    • Andrew Rowan, George Fairbairn and John Living15

1901

  • Facility was purchased by a company formed in London (Pg 261)15

1910’s

  • Tinned beef was a staple ration for war soldiers in WWI40
    • accompanied by hard tack biscuits40
    • Bully Beef – corruption of the French name “bouilli” meaning boiled or corned, referenced to small hard grains of salt used to preserve the meat40
  • Rockhampton produced various tinned labels – Herford, Devon (not the  pork based luncheon meat of that name) and Hamper40
    • including frozen sides meat for export and domestic butcher shops40
  • All parts of the animal were used40
    • what was not edible was processed into fertiliser and by-products40

1918

  • Major flood year

1928

  • Facility was idle due to the strain of the post war depression (Pg 261)15
    • meat market was very dull15
  • Facility then went to a syndicate headed by Sir William Angliss and FJ Walker (Pg 261)15
    • Operated under their control until 193415

1934

  • Vesteys, British based but international organisation purchased Lakes Creek. (Pg 261)15
  • Facility began to prosper due to the Empire preference granted under the Ottawa Agreement (pg 261)15
    • The Imperial Preference was a series of bilateral agreements of limited tarriffs within the British Empire but higher on goods from the rest of the world. Principal was based on “home producers first, empire producers second, and foreign producers last”16
  • Improved plant, chilling, freezing and processing facilities were established over the coming years.(Pg 261)15
  • By products were saved and processed(Pg 261)15

1938

  • Lakes Creek is paying 4/ per 100lb14
    • authors note – I think the / is shillings.
  • Northern Graziers are complaining of the high costs of freight and low price that Townsville abattoir is paying.14
    • They call for a public abattoir to be established and operated by the government in Townsville.1
      • To operated under the Abattoirs Bill that allowed government to acquire operate the Canon Hill facilities in Brisbane, enacted in 1934 (Pg 264)16

1946

  • Teys formed as a partnership of 4 brothers to process meat for wholesaling and retailing13

1949

  • Queensland herd was deminished due to demands of Australia feeding Allied forces in WWII40
  • Plans were being pushed to develope the channel country in the west and increase QLD’s beef-raising capacity40

1950’s

  • Canned meat, known as bully beef, tinned corn meat was being boxed and sealed on hands-on assembly lines40
    • refer Year 1910 for more info.

packing tinned meats._edited-1Source ‘Bully for our Beef exports’ The Courier Mail 17.07.2011 Workers packing corned beef into cartons at Lakes Creek meatworks

1954

  • February 3. Season commenced38
    • Ended December 1738
    • Flooding Between February 11 to 22 of Fitzroy river system38
    • Killing season 1954 constituted a record38
    • “Meat supplies were maintained but killing took place in the abattoir surrounded by water to a depth of 2 feet”41
  • Facility was undergoing extensive alterations and improvements to beef killing floor38
    • When completed the killing floor would be one of the most modern in Australia38
    • Handle greater throughput38
    • OH & S issues improved38
  • Pigs killed at the facility had also increased on 1953.38
  • Queensland cattle herds had recovered from dry conditions during most of 1951.38
    • Channel Country was underutilised due to lack of quick and commercial transport for cattle38
    • Cattle were grown out to large framed animals to withstand long walking distances38
      • These animals were not the preferred types for killing38
      • UL introduced – Baby Beef grade38
        • significantly effected  producers to turn off younger animals with lighter frame38

1958

  • Daily processing capacity 987 head of cattle. (Pg 261)15

1991

  • Major flood year

2001

  • Employed 1,350 people18
  • Currently the second largest abattoir in Australia18
  • December. CMG lock out workers to force them to accept wage cuts, a six day production schedule and unlimited overtime22
    • Meat workers were forced back to work under a federal award that was $320 in wage cut for some workers22

2002

  • January. Management refused to open works18
  • March 2. Protesters march through the CBD of Rockhampton in support of the 1350 workers who lost their jobs when the plant closed in mid January.24
    • AMIEU called for mass protest24
      • AMIEU demanding re-opening and reinstatement of the workers without massive cuts to pay and conditions.24
      • supported by the Construction, Mining & Energy , Forestry & Manufacturing workers  unions24
  • April. Lakes Creek abattoir is locked into a bitter dispute over pay and conditions between the now owner Consolidated Meat Group (Kerry Packer) and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Association.17
  • Facility will not be re-opening as early as planned17
  • May. Facility reopened but cut the workforce back to 70018
  • June. Plant was planned to be shut down entirely18
  • July 11. Workers begin a 5 day strike and re-establish a picket line outside the plant22
    • Strike is about production levels in the boning room and is part of a ongoing dispute of conditions of new work agreement22
  • July 30. Facility is offically closed.25
  • August. Negotiation had been occuring for an Enterprise bargain agreement for the last 8 months18
  • Consolidated Meat had come to agreement on Terms with Teys $1.2B joint venture to operate, Naracoote (SA), Beenleigh, Biloela and Innisfail (QLD)18
    • Deal to take effect in October18
    • Company had promised full severence pay but it would be at the lowest agreed rates18
    • Consolidated Meat had been awarded with $20M US Beef Quotas18
    • Governments Scheme based on 2001 rates, 40,000t known as the “Packer clause”18
      • Lakes Creek only produced 3,000t since June 200218
      • 2001 they had produced 49,000t18
      • quota flows into the merger entity18
      • Consolidated Meat will receive same quota in 2003 even though plant would be close.18
  • Abattoir is closed at this point in time 20/08/200219
    • It did open for short periods but had ongoing industrial disputes with protected industrial action begin taken19
    • Variety of owners of Lakes Creek plant had been unprofitable over the last decade19
  • ACCC investigate if merger of CMG and Teys would lead to reduced competition in terms of prices for cattle20
    • ACCC decide not to interven in proposed merger20
  • November. Jim Downey is appointed general manager at the plant21
    • Had been plant manager at Biloela21
    • Plant was still closed but undergoing major installations21
  • Drought was the single biggest factor now determining Lakes Creek operation21

2004

  • July. After nearly 2 years of being closed Lakes Creek re-opens25
    • 160 workers will start when the first kill takes place25
    • boning room will then begin employee numbers to be more than 300 in total25
      • Intention is to start with small production, settle the plant and make sure problems can be solved23
      • $1M in pay cheques will be injected into the community each month from the start up.23
    • Facility will gradually build towards a kill capacity of 2,500 head and employ 1,000 people.25
  • 6 weeks prior to opening Teys had been finalising plans to re-open and purchasing stock25
  • Profit margins for the processing sector currently as high as $150 a head25
    • Fallen due to a stronger Aussie dollar and the falling price of Japanese full sets.25
  • Originally the plant had been planned to open later in the year but successful negotiations with the AMIEU helped to bring the opening forward to July25
  • Re-opening was said not to be influenced by the risk of losing US export licences25
  • Lakes Creek had applied and received $660,000 – Under Regional Partnership grant.26
    • Assisted the facility to go back into business26
    • Funds were used to upgrade computer system and plumbing26
    • 2 other meatworks in the region, and operating didn’t receive the grant26
    • Labor criticised the Government for providing taxpayers money to a commercial venture that could give an unfair advantage26

2005

  • A shortage of skilled workers in Australia forces the company to look overseas29
    • People had been lost to the meatworks who have gone to the mining industry29
    • 60 vietnamese begin working at Lakes Creek29
    • Joining the 97 Brazilians already there29

2006

  • CMG implemented industry award27
    • Required to cut it’s 1,300 workers wages by 30% to remain competitive in the tightening beef export market27
    • CMG attempted to draw up new rosters that included27
      • night time and Saturday shifts without penalty rates27
        • Exceeded 38 hour cap27
    • Union workers voted against the new proposal and would only return to work on genuine award conditions.27

2009

  • December. Facility is considering job cuts over the next few weeks42
  • General Manager – Wasantha Mudannayake42
    • Reason for need to reduce jobs was livestock numbers had dropped due to overseas exports42
  • Biloela abattoir (QLD) – also owned and operated by Teys announced cutting of 40 foreign workers jobs42

2010

  • February.Tom Macquire – General Manager of corporate affairs for Teys Bros28
  • Lakes reopened after being closed for a short period following heavy rain.28
  • Currently employing 760 people28
  • Between April 2010 to February 2012 – Teys Employ 480 humanitarian refugees29
    • “Without humanitarian and skilled migrants Teys would find it very hard to continue production at sustainable levels at some sites, particularly in Rockhampton and Biloela”29
  • Since 1982 approximately 31 abattoirs have closed across Queensland30
    • Slaughter capacity had increased by 50%30
    • QLD meat processors forefront in adopting improved practices and technologies30
  • Last 2-3 years30
    • competition has come from restockers and live cattle exporters30
    • Lower export beef prices as a result of higher Australian dollar30
    • Export abattoirs have reduced throughput and cut shifts and the number of killing days.30
  • Major flood year

2011

  • July. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) don’t oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia Merger42
    • View that the proposed merger would be unlikely to substantially lesson competition in any of the markets examined42
      • ‘fat’ cattle ready for slaughter42
      • acquisition of ‘feeder’ cattle destined for feedlots42
      • supply of processed beef to retailers and wholesalers42
  • Teys CEO – Brad Teys – says been 30 years since he’s seen cattle supply so tight44
    • Producer’s aren’t selling cattle44
      • due to poor prices44
        • forced the company to reduce kill days44
      • Rocky is working on 3 days a week kill44
  • September. Teys forms partnership with Cargill37
  • Federal Government Carbon tax legislation36
    • Creates a 2 tier system with those who generate more than 25,000 t of carbon each year to pay more36
      • Basic  costs would be $4 per head for all facilities36
    • Lakes Creek exceeds 25,000 threshold – would be liable to pay higher permit costs36
      • extra $2 head, adding up to extra $7M across Teys/Cargil enterprise.36
    • Abattoirs are energy-intensive business, Trade exposed, with export constituting majority of total production, narrow profit margins36
      • Carbon tax would disadvantage Australian facilities36
    • Government indicated there would be assistance for to introduce measures to reduce emissions to assit processors36

2012

  • Between April 2010 to February 2012 – Teys Employed 480 humanitarian refugees29
    • By February 306 were still actively employed29
  • December. AMIEU was investigating reports of working conditions of 100 workers who were part of the humanitarian program29

2013

  • March. Lakes Creek facility receives a grant from the Federal Government $4.17 for operational upgrades.31
    • Governments Clean Technology Food and Foundaries Investment Program31
    • Will assist Teys to improve competitiveness, local economy and environment.31
  • Upgrades begin of the waste water treatment plant39
    • involve building a new waste water treatment lagoons and installing a biogas boiler and handling equipment39
    • Methane emitted during the waste water treatment will be used to generate steam used at the facility39
    • reduce the facilities coal consumption by 30%39
    • Upgrade set to be completed by June 201539
    • Cost $16M39
  • Lakes Creek facility receives the Ministers Enterprise Award as part of the QLD state government’s annual Multicultural Awards for cultutal diversity10
    • Award recognises work and and volunteering efforts that develop strong, culturally diverse communities and promote awareness of the benefits of the cultural diversity in the state.10
  • Teys employed 4,500 across Australia10
    • Simply not enough local workers to operate the plants10
    • International workers were needed to fill the spaces10
  • In Rockhampton the mining boom left plants wth an employment shortfall10
    • Lakes Creek employs more than 1,000 people of 29 different nationalities10
    • Employ a significant number of humanitarian refugees and supports induction and training practices that assist new workers10
    • partnerships with settlement service providers and other groups in the community to employ and assist the workers.10

2014

  • June. Teys lobby government to repeal the Carbon tax11 Teys Media Release to repeal carbon tax
    • Manufacturers are closing down across the country due to unnecessary costs and charges on business” Tom Maguire Teys general manager of corporate affairs.11
    • countries Australia competes against do not have the burden of the carbon tax11
    • there is a direct link between the Carbon tax and competitiveness in the market place11
  • July. Rockhampton meatworks in the area employ more than 2,000 people1
    • Added more than $600M into the community1
  • Teys don’t support establishment of a live cattle export port at Port Alma (Rockhampton)1
  • Would be better for politicians to look at transport costs within Australia1.
    • currently costs $14M a year to rail product from Rockhampton and Biloela to the Port of Brisbane1
    • Development of a port at Rockhampton and Gladstone for shipment of containers would be better.1

unions 2012_edited-2Source The Bulletin. 01.12.2012

The Lakes Creek abattoir, Rockhampton. Queensland

2014

  • Teys is inducted into QLD business leaders hall of fame.32
  • Teys currently process 32,000 cattle per week across Australia32
    • Generates a turnover of $2.5B annually32

2015

  • February. Newly elected QLD Agriculture Minister – Bill Byrne said he “supported the live cattle trade under appropriate circumstances, but it would likely threaten the viability of the processors and value-adding of the local meat processing industry2
  • Cyclone Marcia hits Rockhampton 20/02/2015.3
    • 47,000 homes with no electricity3
    • Damage to buildings, bridges, destruction of crops and fencing.3
    • Flood levels were already high in Callide Valley and exacerbated by release of water from Callide Dam3
  • Lakes Creek abattoir suffers some minor damage to the roofing of the head office building3
  • Facility closed and wouldn’t likely operate for the rest of that week3
    • Plant and Equipment are OK3
    • most significant impact is no power, sewerage and water3
    • Until those services are restored the plant can’t operate3
    • Temporary amenities facilities had to be installed because of damage to existing ones9
  • Chilled and Frozen product was being maintained by generators3
  • Number of animals at the facility were getting water and fodder to ensure their welfare3
  • No kill occured on the day of the cyclone 20/02/2015 and wouldn’t for the rest of that week.4
  • Any cattle that were meant to be processed at Lakes Creek that week would be diverted to Biloela or Beenleigh.4
  • Cattle that had been at the plant at the time of the cyclone were returned to some producers at Teys cost5
    • Half were moved to other plants5
    • If the animals were stressed they would have lost weight and cut darker therefore Teys paid  a flat rate to the producers5
    • Temperatures climbed to 38 degrees with high humidity following the cyclone and some cattle suffered heat stress5
    • Heat stressed animals were not transported to care for their welfare5
  • Teys anticipate they would not be in the market for cattle all that week for Lakes Creek or Biloela4
  • Combination of their buying power not present in markets for the 3 abattoirs affected by the cyclone – Lakes Creek, Biloela and Rockhampton (JBS) accounted for 2,000 head per day4
  • Teys advise the plant will be closed longer than anticipated5
    • Many of the employees at the plant were overseas workers and not entitled to any government support5
    • Asbestos in exposed building material had slowed repairs at the site7
      • Asbestos was commonly used in older facilities7
      • Specialised workers wore plastic suits in 40 degree heat9
  • Facility likely to open 09/03/2015.6
  • Longreach cattle market sales had been cancelled due to the disruptions at the meatworks6
  • Markets still strong but there was congestion of cattle in the market6
  • QLD’s kill retracted to 75,275 head, down 7% as a direct consequence of the first weeks closure8
  • Where possible Teys was making forward payments to producers for cattle held up by the event9
  • Teys to restart the kill floor 18/03/2015 killing 1,000 head to increase to 1,6009

Brands_edited-1Source www.teysaust.com.au Product brand that are produced by Teys.

Sources Rockhampton – Lakes Creek #7

  1. ‘We’re not against live export but….’ QLD Country Life 17.07.2014
  2. ‘MP wary of live cattle trade at meatworks’ expense’ The Bulletin 21.02.2015
  3. ‘Disaster declaration expected today as Cyclone Marcia farm damage bill grows’ ABC Rural 24.02.2015
  4. ‘Power outages, structural damage from cyclone knock-out CQ plants’ Beef Central 23.02.2015
  5. ‘Asbestos closes JBS plant indefinitely’ 26.02.2015
  6. ‘Central QLD abattoirs closed for second week following Cyclone Marcia’ ABC Rural 27.02.2015
  7. ‘Rockhampton processing delays longer than expected, in wake of Cyclone Marcia’ Beef Central 27.02.2015
  8. ‘Weekly Kill: Cyclone impact reflected in lower tally’ Beef Central 03.03.2015
  9. ‘First Rocky Plant back to work Tomorrow’ Beef Central 17.03.2015
  10. ‘Lakes Creek plant earns QLD multi-cultural award’ Beef Central 13.09.2013
  11. ‘Meat Processor calls on new seante to stop games and repeal carbon tax’ Teys Media Release 03.06.2014
  12. Teys Website-facilities
  13. http://www.teysaust.com.au/about/
  14. ‘Public Abattoir Needed’ Courier-Mail 27.08.1938
  15. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ 1959 Queensland Government
  16. Empire preference Ottawa Agreement
  17. ‘Lakes Creek abattoir re-opening plans delayed’ www.justfood.com 25.04.2002
  18. ‘Government rewards Packer for meatworks closure’ the Guardian 07.08.2002
  19. Parliament Hansard – Meat Industry Consultive structure and quota allocation 20.08.2002
  20. ACCC – Consolidated Meat Group and Teys Bros merger proposal
  21. ‘Drought biggest driver of Lakes Creek Opening’ QLD CL 14.11.2002
  22. ‘Lakes Creek Workers continue dispute’ www.wsws.org 13.07.2002
  23. ‘Lakes Creek abattoir to reopen’ ABC rural 13.07.2004
  24. ‘Thousands march to support meatworkers’ Green left 13.03.2002
  25. ‘Lakes Creek reopens Monday’ QLD CL 15.07.2004
  26. ‘Packer Firm given grant for abattoir’ SMH 19.02.2005
  27. ‘Union Avoidance Strategies in the meat processing/packing industry in Australia and the USA compared’ Jerrard, O’Leary
  28. ‘Lakes Creek has few lifelines’ the Bulletin 11.02.2010
  29. ‘Union investigates raw deal for refugees at abattoir’ The Bulletin 01.12.2012
  30. QLD Beef Industry Beef situation analysis 2010
  31. ‘Meatworks gets Federal Government grant’ Daily Mercury 05.03.2013
  32. 2014 Inductee – QLD business Leaders Hall of Fame
  33. History
  34. Great Barrier Reef – Environmental History, Ben Daley
  35. ‘To Feed a Nation – A history of Australian food science and technology ‘ Kieth Farrer. 2005
  36. ‘Carbon tax could cost $19M year for big three processors’ Brahman News. 2011
  37. ”Cargill & Teys merger good for the beef industry’ Meat Trade Daily. 22.05.2011
  38. ‘Lakes Creek meatworks had record year’ CQ Herald 06.01.1955
  39. ‘Methane for power at Teys Australia Lakes Creek meatworks’ The Bulletin 19.03.2014
  40. ‘Bully for our beef exports’ Courier Mail 17.07.2011
  41. AMIC Prime Cuts Newsletter 11.01.2011
  42. ‘Meatworks jobs may get the chop’ The Morning Bulletin 11.12.2009
  43. ACCC will not oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia proposed merger
  44. ‘Cattle supply chokes’ ABC Rural 14.07.2011
  45. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015

`

Caboolture

Located in Queensland, one of only 2 abattoirs in Australia accredited for export of horse meat.

Other Names

  • Meramist 1

Current Operation

  • Caboolture is operating as at 2014.2
  • AUS-MEAT accreditation #3416.2
    • Export beef accredited.2

 

Location   


 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Meramist Pty Ltd1

Operation   

  • Peterborough (SA) and Caboolture (QLD) are Australia’s only licensed horse abattoirs able to export horse meat to European Union (EU) Countries.1

History

2012

  • Australian horse meat export industry strengthened and approved by the EU1

2014

  • June. Investigation launched by Department of Agriculture in to complaints that horse meat exported from Australian abattoirs for human consumption fails to meet strict EU standards.1
  • Complaint specifically relates to horses bought at Echuca (Victoria) saleyards, some which were sent to Peterborough (SA) abattoir
    • All horses processed came with Horse Vendor declarations1
      • Confirms treatment of the horses in previous 6 months1
  • Horse meat industry valued at $10M a year in the past decade1
    • Only 117 tonnes ($830,000 in value) exported to EU in past 12 months.1

 

Sources

  1. ‘Australian horse meat exports in doubt following standards complaint’ ABC News 21.06.2014
  2. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing. Current as at 01.01.2014

Clermont

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Currently in operation1

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

  • Small local processor

History

Year

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Weipa

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating as at 2012.1

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

History

Year

Sources

    1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Beenleigh

Large processing facility operated by Teys with Cargill. Recently had a number of wage disputes. Has recently invesed heavily in new technology, currently operating 2 shifts processing 1,300 cattle per day

Current Operation

  • Currently in operation as at 2015.

Location             

                   Australia. Beenleigh

Map Beenleigh 001

Owner                 

Historical and current meatworks, canneries and abattoirs located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

Operation          

  • Export
  • Nominal capacity 200,000hd as per 50 weeks(as at 1999)1
  • 800 staff2

History of the Beenleigh meat processing facility              

2010

  • Partnership between Teys and Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) develop the semi automated ‘Beef Pullers’ – Collaborative Innovation Strategies (CIS) program20
    • five units now installed by Teys and other processors20
    • technology is designed to overcome some physical and OH & S challenges of the boning line20
      • MLA don’t fund but provide support to assist to access commonwealth research grants 50:50 basis20
  • Beef Pullers – assist in removal of bones and knuckle – recognised as two most physically demanding tasks20
    • Cost/benefit shown increased profit margin $3.50 – $4.65 per carcase20
    • Pay back period 5 months or less.20
  • Beenleigh currently employs 800 workers.37
    • Up to 50% of skilled staff mostly from Brazil and Vietnam.37
    • Most workers are union members.37
    • With a union representative in every department.37
    • Joint consultative committee.37
    • An EBA is currently in place.37
      • skilled staff receive payments above the award.37
      • slicers and boners recieve tally (piecework) payments.37

2011

  • July. CEO – Brad Teys “..it’s been about 30 years since he had seen the supply of cattle so tight”9
  • producers not selling cattle due to poor prices and company forced to reduce kill days at Beenleigh to 3 days a week, Biloela 1 day, Rocky 3 days and Naracoorte was shut down temporarily9

2012

  • March. Petition started to close abattoir due to dust and health risks from cattle yards11
  • June. Rockhampton – Lakes Creek abattoir Labour hire employees (mainly humanitarian entrants) are renumerated under a WorkChoices agreement that pays a flat rate of pay26
    • without penalties for overtime or shift allowance26
    • Previously the workers had been paid at enterprise agreement rates26
    • AMIEU campaigned enterprise agreement be reinstated26
      • AMIEU claim Teys no longer allowed access to facilities due to this incident26
  • August. Carbon tax said to impact in costs of $2M- unless takes drastic action to reduce its emissions – a plan that would involve a temporary shut down2
  • Key competitors don’t face carbon tax3

2013

  • February. Clean technology allocations – $2.83M, project $6M. Install 34ML covered anaerobic lagoon and basin to capture biogas for use on site. Reduce emissions by 85% saving $1.3M energy costs and $380,000 carbon price per year4
  • March. AMIEU lodge an application for rights of entry order to the plant26
    • Teys provided a room to which employees could see their representative if they wished26
      • AMIEU claim room was too small, only able to hold 50 people, with sometimes 130 union members in attendance26
      • EBA used the room when AMIEU made a protected action ballot to be conducted26
      • AMIEU claim then due to the number of people Teys were unable to supply a room suitable26
        • Oztrail outdoor gazebo with a table and 2 chairs. “It was located immediately adjacent to a truck marshalling area, with the attendant flies, stock manure and noise”26
        • AMIEU made another application26
          • allowed to use the lunchroom26
  • May. Workers Dispute.

Teys Australia CEO Brad Teys

A number of companies that specialise in higher quality grain fed beef have been forced to close, merge or restructure over the past decade due to uncompetitive workplace arrangements”2

We are dealing with a union stuck in the 70’s, that still believes in unfettered union power2

  • 24th May – 4 hour stoppage. AMIEU strike.5
  • 24 hour strike by AMIEU for 31st May – 2nd in a week5
  • Teys saying what AMIEU want
    • 50% leave loading5
    • penalty rates within ordinary hours5
    • forced payment for idle time5
    • increased Workers compensation benefits above that prescribed by legislation5
  • Teys say – Many of staff are not union members, Only 28% of workforce voted in favour of strike5
  • AMIEU say – 80% are members, 75% supported action of stopwork6
  • What union say is happening at plant
    • Beenleigh operations made $38M in after tax profits, 9 years to 10/11, during same period paid $33M in dividends6
    • Teys want to cut wages by 20%, increase workload by 30%. Large part of workforce have lifted productivity by 18% since 1998, yet real wages declined by 11%6
  • Tey’s are in process of negotiating new workplace agreement2
  • Wages $40M each year2
  • June. Processing in Australia costs $300 a beast, USA $150 Brazil $1117
  • Boner in Australia earns $30/hr, in USA $12/hr10
  • 2012/2013 study – International Labour Organisation rates countries per highest hourly wage in manufacturing10.
    1. Denmark
    2. Switzerland
    3. Australia
    • 11th USA
    • 17th New Zealand
    • 28th Brazil.
  • Wage structures require more flexibility for seasonal harvesting, peak times in Agriculture which change employment demands and short term staff requirements10
  • AMIEU spokesperson Matt Journeaux. said members oppose to cuts up to 18.3% of current earnings for 30.5% more work. For a slicer meant a loss of $8448/yr12
  • Staff tell Teys CEO “they have had a gutful” of continued industrial action – Brad Teys – Teys CEO17
  • Negotiations continue17

The only way we will reach agreement is for the AMIEU to negotiate with an enterprise and productivity focus. They still don’t understand the need for change” – Brad Teys – Teys CEO17

  • Teys Australia currently operate 6 plants in 3 states with 5,000 employees10
  • July. AMIEU and employee representatives refused to allow a new wages and bonus offer be put to secret ballot to members13
    • Staff wanted performance bonuses removed, Teys did and replaced with 3% wage increase13
    • Cash bonus make up lost time during dispute13
  • Negotiations on Enterprise bargaining agreement ended13
  • Beenleigh plant operated on a 1% return on asset base for past 4 years13
  • Teys considered closing the plant after eight months of negotiations28
    • following 4 years of low returns28
  • 300 signatures of staff calling for a ballot, less than 50% voted for industrial action AMIEU rejected secret ballot forcing company (Teys) to terminate negotiations and explore options which included closure of plant14
  • Teys put forward 5 proposals, all rejected by AMIEU and committee14
  • Plant employs 800 staff, responsible for 4000 flow on local jobs and $250M into local economy14
  • Oct. Fair Work Commission approve the Enterprise bargaining agreement passed in employee secret ballot, to commence October 4.Follow 10 month industrial dispute with AMIEU
    • Victory of common sense and a final rejection of obstructionist union tactics” Tom Maguire (Teys’)15
    • Its a real stunner that Australia’s 2nd largest meat processing company with net equity of over $200M and $2.19B in revenue wants to pay people below award rates and conditions” AMIEU15
  • Teys’ offer unprecedented, a profit- sharing incentive for staff in EBA, is unique in meat processing and manufacture industry, 5-7% on top of normal earnings if reaches set profit targets.16
    • “company and its workforce has to work together to lift productivity in what is a highly competitive global meat processing environment”, “Manufacturing must reform to remain competitive”16 Tom Maquire (Teys’)
    • “From the outset, only a minority of workers wanted to take industrial action. Then a majority voted to approve the new EBA. Yet the union persisted to drag this out only to achieve was was agreed in the first place” Tom Maguire (Teys)18
    • AMIEU, QLD Industrial Officer Lee Norris – serious doubts Teys would deliver on its commitments16
  • During Federal election in 2013 period – Beenleigh EBA came under national spotlight when opposition leader – Tony Abbott questioned by the Fair work commission would not endorse a workplace agreeement supported by most of the staff31

2014

  • March.Currently processing 1,300 prime cattle per day19
    • Operating two shifts, one in afternoon and one in day.19
  • Fair Work Commission (FWC) throw out the EBA following an appeal by AMIEU30
    • EBA will now need to go back to FWC for approval30
    • 500 employees will immediately have weekly pays cut $25-3030
    • majority of employees on site will actually owe Teys up to $900 each30
  • Teys Australia – a Cargill Joint Venture have plants in QLD, NSW & SA19
  • Fair work commission throw out Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) following appeal by AMIEU21
    • Conditions employed under since October 201321
    • Employees voted in favor of EBA April 201321
    • If EBA dismantled some 500 employees could have weekly pay packet reduced by $25-$3021
      • Majority of employees would find they owe company as much as $900 each21
    • AMIEU claim voting was “ballott rigged” Brian Crawford, AMIEU branch secretary22
      • allowing trainee supervisors to vote.22
    • Teys deny rigging23
      • vote administered by Australian electoral commission not by Teys23
      • Trainee supervisors been included in last 6 EBA’s since 201223
      • some trainee supervisors are union members23
      • AMIEU have long been aware of inclusion of trainee supervisors23
    • Types of reforms acheived in 2013 EBA vital for the survival of the meat processing company23

    “We must continue to manage rising manufacturing costs or processing will go the way of the car industry and other manufacturers” Tom Macquire. Teys corporate affairs manager.23

  • Workplace relations inquiry submission by Teys, John Salter – General manager of workplace relations26
    • Teys Australia is Australia’s second largest beef processor & exporter26
      • annual turnover $3B26
      • Operating in QLD, Vic, NSW & SA26
        • 9 locations26
    • Employs close to 4,500 people26
      • often the largest employer in various regional centres26
      • Annual payroll in excess of $350M26
      • People costs represent 62% of operating expenses26
    • Teys is party to 21 FWC approved Enterprise agreements26
    • Beenleigh site agreement was reached with employees in 201326
      • approval has been mired by litigious complexity which the Fair Work Act of 2009 has exacerbated, rather than neutralised26
      • Agreement subject to interlocutory stay of FWC full bench order26
      • First EBA approval September 201326
        • FWC Deputy President at the time. Ingrid Asbury.31
      • First FWC full bench appeal – December 201326
      • Second EBA approval – April 201426
        • FWC Deputy President at the time. Ingrid Asbury31
      • Second FWC full bench appeal – September 201426
      • First Federal court hearing June 201526
      • Second Federal court hearing scheduled for May 201526
    • Beenleigh current operations two shift basis Monday – Friday26
      • some employees on site 24/726
      • Employee figures fluctuate but some 24 periods 850 employees to meet production schedules26
    • 2010 EBA had significant inflexibilities threatening the viability of the plant26
      • operational and cost base challenges,26
        • which other competitors (within Teys incl) don’t face26
          • cost of environmental compliance due where plant is located in a heavily populated area26
    • 2013 EBA allowed increased productivity26
    • If forced to go back to 2010 EBA some job losses may occur as production costs are reassessed26
    • Changes considered are:26
      • lowering throughput of cattle to 1,200 head a day26
      • Changing boning & load out departments to 5 day 8 hour roster26 (40 hours)
        • currently working on a 4 day by 9.5 hour roster26 (38 hours)
        • 5×8 roster could result in 20% redundancies26
          • 40 permanent staff in load out and boning rooms26
          • 3-4 in the cleaning26
          • others in salary staff, management and supervisory areas26
      • 2010 EBA doesn’t accomodate taking of annual leave but is featured in the 2013 EBA26
        • if annual close down resumes under 2010 EBA reduction in 5% staff to cover for annual leave if had been taken in 2013 EBA26
        • these staff would now be surplus to requirements under 2010 EBA26
      • Teys invested $20M in the 2014/2015 year26.
        • this increased job creation26
      • Payroll system CHRIS in a retro perspective to accomodate reversion to payment of skilled workers would cost $500,000 to implement26
  • July. Teys currently employ 4,500 people in QLD, NSW and SA.24
  • Workers at the Beenleigh plant had voted to approve a work place agreement in 2013 but AMIEU had obstructed the deal and mounted continuous appeals.24

“..the business environment in Australia, especially industrial relations, was not conducive to manufacturing, and the sector could not compete internationally” Tom Maquire24

  • Teys say reform of the labour arrangements, greater market access and a reduction in costs and charges on companies were key ares that needed to be pursued by the government.24

“We must remove the ability by third parties – namely unions – to interfere with the relationships companies have with employees, allowing them to hold up and counter legitimate agreements” Tom Maquire24

  • Federal Government must tackle industrial relations reform or risk the closure of more manufacturing industries33
  • New EBA – Teys Australia will include productivity-based profit sharing34
    • as well as annual wage increases34
    • Is an industry first inititive
    • Bonus cheque $2000 – $600034
    • AMIEU oppose the the bonus34
  • September. Profit sharing bonus’s were paid this week25
    • represents pay-out of about $1.2M25
    • Paid the bonus’s inspite of union opposition and will not be asking workers for a refund25

2015

  • February. Federal Court ruled that controversial enterprise agreement approved by workers in 2013 was invalid27
  • 35 jobs created under the new EBA35
    • jobs are now directly threatened35
  • An independent economic report estimated the Beenleigh plant flow effects;35
    • contributes more than $360M in GDP to Brisbane region35
    • underpins more than 1800 full time equivalent jobs35
  • Teys Australia Beenleigh Ltd v’s AMIEU 2015
    • News article cites 600 workers to affected27
    • AMIEU claim 300 workers will have ‘fatter’ pay packets27
      • argued a ballot to pass the EBA included people who were ineligible to vote27
    • Federal court rule that company must return to 2010 agreement27
      • Higher skilled workers are paid more27
        • boners, slicers & slaughtermen27
          • payment is based on weight of cattle processed27
        • lower skilled workers would be worse off27
          • lower skilled will have a lighter workload27
      • 2013 agreement was to pay on hourly rate irrespective of how many animals processed27
      • AMIEU claimed Teys told workers they wanted a 20% increase in productivity without increasing pay27
        • Teys deny claim27
          • Tom Maquire – said the company can’t compete with overseas rivals unless it cuts labour costs and increases productivity27
  • Unions would now meet with Teys to negotiate new agreements.27
  • Decision in regards to the future of the Beenleigh plant was approaching31
    • Cattle herds were falling31
    • Tougher international competition from US and Brazil expected31
      • Australian Cost of Production (COP) $300 a head31
      • US & Brazil COP $16531
  • August. EBA dispute has been ongoing since 201332
    • Federal Court ruled that Fair work commission had made a wrong decision to back the union, it was entitled to make wrong decisions32
    • Means the 2014 EBA is now void32
      • 500 workers wouldn’t receive bonus of $4,500.32
      • Similar bonus’s in 2015 would also be lost32
      • Scheduled wage increases for the next 2 years are gone32
    • Now operation will be under the 2010 EBA where32;
      • current hourly rate will decrease32
      • every worker will be worse off by 12%32
    • Teys were working on a new plan to secure rises and bonus’s32

Sources

  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘Gillard great carbon tax backdown – Off the Hook’ QLD Country Life 02.08.12
  3. ‘Processors ‘beef’ with carbon tax’ Nth QLD Register 06.9.12
  4. ‘Teys, T & R latest round of carbon abatement grants’ Beef Central 18.02.13
  5. ‘Teys wants union to ‘get real’ and negotiate to protect 800 jobs’ Beef Central 31.05.13
  6. ‘On the brink: Teys warns “reform, or more jobs will be lost’ Beef Central 31.05.13
  7. ‘Teys hold talks with AMIEU, as workers call for close to dispute’ Beef Central 12.06.13
  8. ‘Manufacturing on the brink’ Teys Media Release 29.05.13.
  9. ‘Cattle supply chokes’ NT Country hour. 14.07.11
  10. ‘Food processing labours under high wages’ ABC rural 07.06.13
  11. ‘Shut down Teys Beenleigh’ Petition. www.activism.com
  12. ‘Strike action taken by workers at Teys Bros abattoir in Beenleigh over wages’ Courier mail. 04.06.13
  13. ‘Teys: 800 jobs at risk as union rejects wages offer’ Beef Central 12.07.13
  14. ‘Teys’ Beenleigh workers petition directly for secret Ballot’ Beef Central. 22.07.13
  15. ‘Warning to Government and unions to enter “New age of Industrial relations” 09.10.13
  16. ‘Beenleigh profit sharing incentives blazes trail for meat industry EBA’s’ Beef Central 09.10.13
  17. ‘Teys: Workers want end to ongoing industrial dispute’ QLD Country life 13.06.2013
  18. ‘End to Teys dispute in sight’ Nth QLD Register 03.10.2013
  19. Job advertisement for 2 workers. Teys. 03.03.2014
  20. ‘Research partnership delivers new commercial technologies’ Feedback. March 2010
  21. 800 Beenleigh workers face pay cuts under AMIEU action. Beef Central. 07.03.2014
  22. ‘Union tells Teys to put-up or shut-up’. Beef Central 11.03.2014
  23. ‘Teys rejects union claim of EBA vote-rigging’. Beef Central 12.03.2014
  24. ‘Teys:Govt must take action’ Nth QLD Register 10.07.2014
  25. ‘Industrial relations: Beenleigh staff paid ‘ground breaking’ profit share cash bonuses’ Beef Central 04.09.2014
  26. AMIEU ‘The National Meatworker’ August 2013
  27. ‘Ruling finds controversial enterprise agreement approved by workers in 2013 was invalid’ The Courier-mail 12.02.2015
  28. ‘Teys Clashes with union over enterprise dispute’ The Bulletin 06.08.2015
  29. sub0095-workplace-relations
  30. ‘Fight over Teys EBA continues’ www.Farmonline.com.au. 07.03.2014
  31. ‘Teys looks at closing abattoirs’ www.farmonline.com.au 17.02.2015
  32. ‘IR system fails 800 Beenleigh meatworkers, says Teys’ Beefcentral 03.08.2015
  33. ‘Teys calls for greater IR reform’ www.farmonline.com.au 08.07.2014
  34. ‘Teys says AMIEU opposes its employee bonus plan’ Beef Central 25.07.2014
  35. ‘IR system “needs urgent overhaul” as court……” Beef Central 13.02.2015
  36. ‘Workers safe at Rockhampton and Biloela’s abattoirs’ The Morning Bulletin 14.07.2013
  37. Work-skills-and-training-2301-1
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