Yasi shuts John Dee abattoir

STAFF of the John Dee Warwick abattoir are set to be stood down from today until Monday at the earliest after the Townsville factory which makes its beef cartons was evacuated and shut ahead of Cyclone Yasi.

One of Warwick's largest employers of permanent staff yesterday told its 400-strong workforce of the decision to suspend killing, made unavoidable by the non-supply of export packaging for its beef.

Spokesman Warren Stiff said yesterday it was somewhat ironic the cyclone had affected operations even before it had struck the north Queensland coast.

But he said that without export-grade packaging they could not process cattle.

“Our cartons were being made at our supplier's factory at Rocklea in Brisbane but it was affected by the recent flooding, so the manufacture of the cartons was transferred to its site at Townsville,” Mr Stiff said yesterday.

“We have suspended killing temporarily but we are hoping that we may be able to resume on Monday. I want to emphasise that this is a temporary stand-down and none of our employees have been laid off.

“It is unfortunate but there is no way around it and I expect other operations similar to ours will be likewise affected by this disruption to the supply of packaging.”


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