We want to work - the Tabro workers' voice

Our time at Tabro is fraught with barriers and obstacles. A sense of enthusiasm crept over the place when our meat works got sold to the Foresun group.

Yes, we were a little worried about getting an influx of visa workers to replace our jobs but promises were made and job security guaranteed. We watched maintenance upgrades happen and big promises were made about production bottlenecks and inferior machinery being upgraded.

We soon learnt that they would undertake such upgrades with closed eyes and lack of forethought. Costing the company and its employees greatly. We watched as up grades were made and watched as they were changed again and again on a whim and yet another failure.

We listened to the gossip of yet another contractor not being paid. We watched as they installed more surveillance cameras and upgraded all existing cameras that allowed even more monitoring of workers actions. We watched as over the hook cattle dried up. We listened to the cries of distress from the farmers waiting to be paid.

We watched as basic hygiene fixers like replacing silicon sealant around boot washers were put on hold due to no funds. We watched as supply companies got changed.

We stayed loyal through the change of seasons. We believed the promises that things would improve. We dutifully turned up for the 73 days of employment that we were given for 2016.

We have turned up for the endless days of doing time with some odd jobs involved, due to the agreement that two days per week of work will be provided for the year.

We have lost many good workers who could not sustain this lifestyle.

We have watched families breakup. We have watched bank foreclosures. We have seen once independent grown-ups return to a nest, sad and sorry for their failures.

When we deserve a full loaf of information we have only been thrown a few crumbs. Yet we stay.

We are old, we are young, we are promised work, so we stay.

We have run the boning room for just eight days this year - we are 81 days into the year already.

We pushed ourselves to cover unfilled positions that had belonged to our fallen comrades.

We wonder with great stress where will the cattle come from. No one will sell to them. They don't pay their bills. Yet we stay and we pray for a miracle.

Each week we notice our pay getting later and later yet we stay. We get restricted from working. No labourer can work more than two days. Load out is empty. Yet there are still containers to fill.

We have those on salaries expected to attend daily. We have a butcher, a supervisor and QA monitors working multiple days. We have maintenance workers in and out. We have office staff attending. We have work to be done.

They all live by rumours alone. No one knows the answers. We have crippled ourselves as a company. We did not get paid.

We refused to be scrapped. We demanded action. We heard more promises we do not trust and, yes, we stay. We know no alternative. We want a job. We want to work.