Abattoir workers wait

GRAFTON abattoir operator Stuart Ramsey made an undertaking in the Federal Court on Monday to put aside $1.5 million for workers' unpaid entitlements when the meat works is sold.

A spokesman for the Fair Work Ombudsman said Mr Ramsey and associated companies provided the Federal Court in Sydney with an undertaking that upon sale of the South Grafton abattoir they would cause $1.5 million to be transferred to the trust account of Hannigans Solicitors.

"The money from the trust may only be released to meet entitlements owed to South Grafton abattoir workers," he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman was continuing to assess what entitlements - including redundancy, annual leave and long-service leave - were owed to South Grafton abattoir workers, the spokesmen said.

The next listing for the case is Friday.

But the latest instalment did not appear to help the original 11 abattoir workers who have been battling Mr Ramsey in court for unpaid wages and entitlements since 2008.

The Federal Court found in their favour in October and a subsequent ruling on October 31 directing Mr Ramsey to make a payment to the workers had not been complied with, affected worker Paul Lumley said.

Mr Lumley said he was waiting to hear from his legal team about the next step in the case.

In the finding against Mr Ramsey in the 2008 case, the judge noted that $80,000 of workers' compensation premiums were transferred from a shadow employment company, after it was "supposedly" placed in voluntary administration to the account of Ramsey Food Processing at Mr Ramsey's direction.

Those funds "would have been more than sufficient to meet the monetary claims in the present proceedings", the judge said.



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