Employees at Australia’s Lakes Creek Meatworks remain in suspense as union delegates continue talks with the Consolidated Meat Group (CMG). Little light has yet been shed on whether, or when, the plant will reopen.

Parent CMG has been endeavouring to implement a new enterprise bargaining agreement for over a year but the works closed indefinitely on Friday “until trading conditions improve”.

Speaking on behalf of CMG, Ray O’Dell yesterday stated that the company’s productivity needed to improve by 10%. “You’re either sustainable and profitable or you’re not, there’s no point opening if you’re not sustainable and profitable,” he said.

Potential measures to try and turnaround the plant’s fortunes include the introduction of a ten-day fortnight and obligatory weekend shifts.

Representing the Meat Employees Union, however, Brian Crawford indicated that it would be down to employees to determine whether proposed changes were acceptable.

Negotiations continue.