True economic story is down to the bone

THE Northern Rivers has been left relatively unscathed to date from the economic depression, but as unemployment rises in the region some may start to feel the pinch.

The market depression in the meat industry is showing signs across the country of adding to those woes locally as casual workers at one of the region's largest employers are being stood down because there isn't enough work for them right now.

Cassino Northern Co-operative Meat Company chief executive Gary Burridge is watching the downturn in his industry carefully, and is trying to balance the economic effects on his company with keeping his employees in work. This is not an easy task for any CEO in these times.

But he has assured The Northern Star that, where possible, casuals will get work on rotation and full-time workers will have their shifts shared equitably.

This is a lot better than what has befallen other plants in the country where casual staff have been terminated or plants have been closed down.

One of the main issues Mr Burridge and the Meat Workers Union agree upon is the loss of Australian jobs in the meat industry due to the live exports trade.

It is an issue the Federal Government urgently needs to act on to ensure further job losses in an industry that once kept this country thriving does not occur.

Mr Burridge believes the industry has some more pain to experience in the coming months, but sees this lifting by next January.

Let's hope with careful planning and good management the Cassino Meat Company will rise above the turning tide.

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