T&R Pastoral shuns locals [by Andrew Phillips]

By Andrew Phillips, 22nd January 2006

As one would expect, local paper “the Advertiser” is once again slow off the mark reporting threats to local workers.

A week ago the Advertiser got around to reporting a story run by the Murray Valley Standard on November 29th 2005, which stated that local meat exporting processor T&R Pastoral would be sponsoring over 100 Chinese process workers to come to Murray Bridge to work at the plant.

Reports indicate that a delegation of T&R’s executives travelled to Henan Province to “hand pick the cream” of the region’s process workers.

As a sign of the company’s altruism towards their newfound and pliable employees, the company’s directors have indicated that the 4 year visas granted to the Chinese will not be an issue as they will be sponsored by the company for permanent residency after only 1 year. The company has also secured rental accommodation for the families of these foreign workers, as well as supplying doctors, translators, language lesson for the families as well as approaching local sporting clubs to arrange after school activities for their offspring.

Such altruism (if one could be so naive as to believe this to be the case) would be commendable if it had been extended to Australian workers seeking secure employment to provide for their families.

No. Rather than supporting local workers, T&R chose instead to shun their own people and turned to a foreign land to provide workers more accustomed to poor working conditions, minimal pay and maximum hours — working like dogs for little return.

The claims by Murraylands Regional Development Board chief executive (grandiose title) Brenton Lewis that T&R could not secure local workers ring terribly hollow when letters began to appear in the town’s local paper from people who had come to Murray Bridge from as far afield as Port Lincoln, with processing experience and the express intention of working for T&R, only to be informed they weren’t required.

A a true to form globalist, Lewis then proceeded to add insult to injury and turned on the Murray Bridge locals. Playing the race card and assuming an air of supposed moral (and one would assume perceived intellectual?) superiority, he issued the dire warning to local inhabitants that if they don’t get this right (i.e. shut up and become a dumping ground for cheap Third World labour), no-one would want to come to the city and they’d get the horrid reputation of being a “region of REDNECKS”.

Clearly Lewis and the T&R executives have little respect or regard for Murray Bridge locals and the farming communities around them.

Perhaps if T&R had offered resettlement assistance to Australians, along with rental accommodation and other perks — the company would not have the much touted (but barely credible) problem of finding labour to fill it’s shifts.

It would seem a backlash is expected by the powers that be. No sooner than T&R had announced their plans, the local council (yes, those elected to protect the region’s interests!) began to bend over backwards creating multicultural councils and immigrant support groups, while editorials were awash with step by step guides on “how to make cheap labour foreigners welcome in your town”. Apparently it’s so simple — one need only seek them out and give them a smile and friendly wave — while you’re on your way to Centrelink to hand in your forms because T&R didn’t want to give you a job, one presumes.

T&R be warned. Murraylands residents are not stupid. They are not complacent. What the company is doing is plainly obvious and immoral. Those company lapdogs sitting on the Murray Bridge City Council will eventually be held accountable by their constituents for their dereliction of duty towards their community.

Murraylands activists watch developments with interest.

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