Still no pay for sacked workers

IT IS coming up to the fourth Christmas that 11 former South Grafton abattoir workers will not have their due entitlements after their unceremonious sacking by the Ramsey Group of companies in November 2008.

This is in spite of a Federal Court order made on October 31 that one of the companies (Ramsey Food Processing) pay the workers at least part of their entitlements within seven days.

But the orders only refer to workers' entitlements accrued since October 17, 2006 and most of the affected workers were employed at the abattoir well before that but under different company names.

The court orders included annual leave, notice of termination pay, severance pay and interest.

Three of the workers Robert Baker, Grant Tomlinson and Paul Lumley told The Examiner yesterday they still had not received a cent.

Mr Baker started work at the abattoir in 1970 under Gilbertsons, was short-changed thousands when that company shut the meatworks down in 1997 and went back to the site when Stuart Ramsey reopened the meat works in 1998.

Now aged 60, the former slaughterman injured his back at work and was on light duties when he was put off in November 2008. He said he had not worked since, despite trying to find a job.

According to the October 31 Federal Court orders, Mr Baker should have been paid $12,656.

Mr Baker believes his total payout should be closer to $20,000.

"The ombudsman did a really good job for us, but the legal system is letting us down," he said.

Grant Tomlinson, 47, is a former slaughter-floor labourer and the same court orders say he is entitled to $5337, but since he worked with Ramseys since 1998 the true figure should be much higher.

"I'll believe it when it hits my bank account," he said.

He was also on light duties because of work-related injuries and is now on a disability pension. He hasn't worked since being retrenched in late 2008.

"I'm looking at anything and everything work-wise," he said.

Paul Lumley, 47, believes he is owed about $15,000 in total. The Federal Court orders say he is owed $7032 accrued from October 2006.

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