Welcome to the Meatworkers Union

Coronavirus – COVID 19 – is a new disease that is killing many people around the world.

The outbreak started in late 2019 and developed into a global pandemic by March 2020.

The governments have had staged controls to prevent spreading COVID-19. Workplaces must encourage flexible working arrangements including working from home and off-peak travel. Further stages of shutdown have affected all non-essential services

Food production is essential for survival so meat workers have continued to work. This means that the AMIEU has continued working for you. Because of the restrictions to office work the Victorian Branch at 62 Lygon Street is underwent IT changes to make sure that we can serve our members, wherever your organisers are operating from.

In the Covid-19 crisis, workers have one more thing to worry about – around the world their factories have proved to be a hotbed of infection. There have been coronavirus clusters in Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany.

Here the Coronavirus, COVID-19, is spreading. Significant numbers of Meat Workers have now been diagnosed as having COVID-19.
Cedar Meats was the first abattoir in Victoria - it was closed for some weeks and is operating again. Next Pacific Meats, then Somerville Retail Services, JBS Brooklyn, who started to return on 27 July, Inghams Thomastown is taking the first steps in a return after closure, Bertocchi Thomastown, Diamond Valley Pork  and AMG have closed.  A number of regional meat processing plants have also closed including Australian Lamb Colac, Midfield Meats, and Don KR Castlemaine which is beginning the process of return, safely.

JBS Brooklyn Pandemic Leave

Diamond Valley Pork - Update 3 August 2020

What is happening in the meat industry with the Victorian 'State of Disaster'

Together with the Victorian Branch of the AMIEU, Maurice Blackburn have prepared a Flyer in relation to Frequently Asked Legal Questions in relation to COVID-19. Find the answers here.

All workers should be able to get real support

“Hundreds of meat workers in Victoria have developed COVID-19 and many have been hospitalised with life threatening conditions. Many meatworkers continue to work when non-essential work has stopped or transferred to working from home. Every measure must be taken to ensure their safety. In particular all workers, whatever status or nationality, must be provided with readily accessible paid pandemic leave so they are not forced to choose between keeping their workmates safe and having no pay or living on their hard-earned leave entitlements.”

Every Victorian worker who suffers COVID-19 and believes that their work may have played a role, should lodge a WorkCover claim immediately.

It makes no sense that there have been only a handful of claims from meat workers, health care workers, those who work in public transport or education, when it is clear that these workers employment have a disproportionately high rate of infection in our community.

Ventilation is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19

Worker rights under JobKeeper Scheme

Don't discriminate - make Job Keeper payments fair

AMIEU Victorian Branch Operating Report for the year ended 30 June 2020 has been published

Don't Put up with Exploitation
Report Dodgy Bosses !

The AMIEU urges meat workers to check this out and report dodgy bosses

At the ACTU Congress in July 2018 the union movement came together to support the banning of live exports. See the motion that was moved by the AMIEU and adopted unanimously.

The AMIEU has won the right for all meat workers who are casuals to request conversion to full or part time work.

Join the Union

We recognise commitment to the Union

Meatworkers have enjoyed a history and a culture of unionism


This has been built over many years and has continued from generation to generation. Work in meatworks and associated workplaces has always been physically hard, dangerous and skilful. Without the strength of organized labour it would undoubtedly be more dangerous and have stayed poorly paid as well.
Most of the conditions and wages many now enjoy were the result of the unity and industrial action (strikes etc) of workers over many years before them. All the major sheds through the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties were one hundred percent unionised and were therefore able to put up a united front against powerful employers who would otherwise have exploited them. In Victoria particularly, the AMIEU led the way in the establishment of industrial awards, which many now take for granted. Things like equal pay for women, long service leave, Superannuation, redundancy, annual leave, sick leave and public holidays were established and developed by the union, backed up with united industrial pressure.