Unions that have been advocating for workers in the Northern Rivers communities say they want Norco to commit to getting the factory back to its full capacity as soon as possible.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, and the Electrical Trades Union say they welcome the announcement of the $60 million in support for Lismore businesses through the Anchor Business Support Grant Program.
The union says they have been advocating for workers since the floods, including pushing for extended financial support from the federal and state governments.
That support is scheduled to run out on September 23.
A union media realise says that now that Norco has received more than $34 million in funding through the Anchor Business Support package, they are calling on the company to provide certainty to its workers and reveal its plans for the business.
The unions have requested an urgent meeting with Norco management to understand the impact of the funding. They say they will work with members and the community to assist any worker who may be impacted by the company’s decision.
Norco need to provide clarity
State Secretary AMWU NSW & ACT, Cory Wright, said that initially, Norco indicated they needed approximately $46 million to rebuild the ICBU at Lismore. ‘Now that they’ve been offered over $34 million, Norco need to provide clarity as to the workers’ future. Workers can’t be left in limbo.
‘The combined Unions are committed to helping impacted workers access employment opportunities elsewhere if they can’t work at Norco. No one should be left worse off by this process.’
Getting the factory back to its full capacity
Secretary AMIEU Newcastle & Northern, Justin Smith, said the union hopes that Norco will commit to getting the factory back to its full capacity as soon as possible. ‘Our members are ready to get back to work.
‘We will work with Norco to make sure workers are given all the information about how the funding will be used and what jobs will be impacted by the rebuilding process.’
State Secretary ETU NSW & ACT, Allen Hicks said the funding announcement is another good step forward in Lismore’s recovery. ‘The community can’t afford to lose these jobs.
‘We hope that Norco is transparent about its plans for the factory. This business is so important to the Lismore area – workers and the community deserve certainty and stability.’
A Norco spokesperson told The Echo this morning that there were some inaccuracies in the union’s information. ‘It notes that Norco has “received” $34.7 million.
Norco’s absolute commitment
‘As part of the recent Anchor Package announcement, the government has “offered” Norco $34.7 million – Norco has not received a cent of this money. –
The co-operative is currently working through a business case of what this funding could mean for the business and the future of the ice cream facility – with an absolute commitment to doing everything it can to safeguard the future of the facility, for its workers, its farmer members and the Lismore community.’