Manufacturing News

Food producers slash more than 100 jobs in Victoria

It is not a good time to be a food manufacturing worker in Victoria at the moment, with Mars and Murray Goulburn set to slash more than 100 employees from its workforce between them.

Murray Goulburn’s Rochester milk drying plant plant, north of Bendigo, will cut 64 jobs, while Mars will be getting rid of 38.

The state Opposition says it is time to recognise the real situation in the sector and start improving it.

“This government has to recognise this problem is a real one, affecting real people’s lives,” he said.

“They need to take responsibility and reduce government taxes and charges for businesses.”

Every month there seems to be more jobs going from the sector, as the high Australian dollar makes it too expensive for companies to stay and the supermarket price wars puts those that remain at risk of collapse.

The Heinz factory in Girgarre, in Victoria, was officially closed in January, despite workers attempts to save the tomato processing facility.

Girgarre is only a small community so the job losses have had a massive impact, as will the Murray Goulburn’s decision, with Rochester home to less than 2000 people.

The job cuts, which will reduce the 144-strong workforce to 80, will take effect from 30 April.

Gary Helou, Murray Goulburn managing director, said the job cuts were necessary.

“It is difficult to lose good people who have worked hard for the company,” he said.

“We will be doing all we can to support affected staff over the coming months, including arranging counselling, financial advice and job transitioning services,” he said.

Mars has not released a statement on its job cuts at this stage.

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