Late last week Golden Farms near Geelong in Victoria recorded a positive case of COVID-19. Within the last few days, that number has increased to 10 and could continue to rise.
Turosi, the owner and operator of the site, shut down the abattoir over the weekend after pressure from the United Workers Union.
Their plans to reopen this week were dashed when DHHS ordered the site to close for 14 days while workers isolate.
However, in a bizarre move yesterday, DHHS authorised workers who were isolating to break isolation and return to the workplace for cleaning.
Turosi has refused to offer financial assistance to their workforce during the stand-down period.
The company is expecting workers to dip into their own entitlements or, for casuals, be left with nothing at all.
United Workers Union condemns Golden Farms for refusing to provide paid pandemic leave, a lifeline workers
have been campaigning for in case of a lockdown.
Paid pandemic leave would give workers the peace of mind that they will be able to support their families during isolation.
Quotes attributable to United Workers Union Food and Beverage National Director Susie Allison:
“Turosi Golden Farms is turning it’s back on workers when they need it the most. These workers toiled away for
this company only to be completely abandoned. How can workers have faith the company has their best
interests at heart when this is how they are treated? The message is that workers’ welfare is none of their
Quotes attributable to Golden Farms Worker Glenn Myhre:
Glenn, 60, has worked at Golden Farms for 34 years.
“This is leaving a lot of people very insecure. Casuals and people with no entitlements are going to be left in a
really tight spot. It’s a massive company. They can afford to pay us. We’ve worked hard for the company
throughout the pandemic and now we are being left boxed in at home, and having to use up all our own
Golden Farms joins a growing list of companies who have made big profits off panic buying, but have left their
workers with nothing during an outbreak. Turosi made it onto the list of 100 biggest food companies in Australia
last year, according to Food and Drink Business magazine. Turosi produces Golden Farms, Bannockburn, and La
Ionica, amongst other products.