Works’ staff mark end of an era
A short flag-lowering ceremony marked the end of an era for staff at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Meat Company at Whakatu today.
Only about 50 people, a mere fraction of the company’s peak staff of more than 2000, attended the brief ceremony.
It was held to mark the last day that the company, until a year ago one of the country’s largest beef and mutton slaughterhouses, had control of the Whakatu assets.
From tomorrow the site will come under the control of the Weddel Crown Group.
The HBFMC staff will be reduced to 14, all accounting staff engaged in preparing the company’s ﬁnal balance sheet.
The 150 staff who had stayed on to operate the fellmongery, casing and bag departments, watchmen and ofﬁce staff have been paid off, with the last 60 or 70 receiving their redundancy cheques today.
The HBFMC secretary, Mr Brian Usherwood, said the ceremony had been organised to mark the end of the era of the company which had occupied the Whakatu site since 1912.
However, while HBFMC paid off staff in the fellmongery, laundry and casing bag departments, many of them are likely to be re-employed as the new killing season gears up.
The departments are needed to provide backup services for the company’s former Takapau works which join the Richmond Ltd stable.
Meanwhile, Weddel Crown are pressing ahead with plans for re-development of the Whakatu site.