Does the Supermarkets’ decision to move away from in-store production of meat products, mean more jobs for butchers at centralised processing facilities?
The short answer is no; not until we see the Federal Government get serious about employing locally, stopping practices which allow employers to exploit the working visa system.
Innovations in technology and the breakdown of jobs into individual tasks, means less people, and lower skill levels are required to work in these facilities.
The need to hire tradesmen is limited in these operations, with the competency required for most positions ranging from Labourer to Certificate II qualification level tasks.
Labour hire companies provide many of the workers in these operations. Meat processing companies see the outsourcing of labour as a way to shed cost and liability for workers.
Many labour hire companies use working visa holders, often targeting vulnerable, low English speaking workers, who have little or no awareness of their working rights in Australia. Therefore likely to accept low wages and poor working conditions.
Many working visa holders, even when made aware of the exploitation rife within labour hire firms, are unlikely to speak out for fear of having their sponsored visa revoked and being sent home.