News

Full force of the law

FORMER South Grafton abattoir operator, Stuart Ramsey and his company Ramsey Food Processing have felt the force of the Federal Court which fined them $115,200 yesterday.

Justice Buchanan described Mr Ramsey's attempts to deny $60,000 of entitlements to workers as "a flagrant disregard for their legal rights".

"I regard the breaches in this case as very serious. They appear to me to have involved a deliberate, calculated and systematic refusal to comply with the requirements of the Workplace Relations Act and to take advantage of the vulnerability of the complainant employees," the judge said.

If it wasn't for the fact that things could always get worse he would have handed out the maximum fines possible he said.

As it was Mr Ramsey was fined $19,200 and Ramsey Food Processing Pty Ltd - through which he formerly operated the abattoir - a further $96,000. The combined fine represented 97 % of the maximum allowable under the law.

Former abattoir worker Paul Lumley was owed thousands of dollars by Mr Ramsey.

"It was about time," the courts held him to account, he said.

The attempt by Mr Ramsey to set up shadow companies to avoid worker payments was a sham, the judge said.

Justice Buchanan also noted in 2006, Ramsey shut down four companies he controlled to avoid paying more than $200,000 in fines and back-payment orders imposed by the Federal Court for underpayment of $125,000 in termination entitlements of South Grafton abattoir workers in 2002.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the near-maximum penalty illustrates repeated, deliberate underpayment of employee entitlements was a very serious matter that will not be tolerated by the Courts.

"This case demonstrates that employers who try to use legal or corporate trickery to avoid paying staff their full entitlements will be held to account," Mr Wilson said.

Topics:  abattoir, federal court, ramsey food processing, workers




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Strange Politics: Barnaby gets carp help from Trump

This was not why you got into the espionage industry.

Spate of armed robberies raises alarm

Grafton Courthouse Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Teen arrested, charged with service station theft

Three golf carts taken for joy ride

Golf buggies and carts are the mode of transport for golfers.Photo Erica Murree / Central & North Burnett Times

Two stolen golf carts have been dumped at Pippi Beach after break-in

Latest deals and offers

Rohan Markham - PBR Grafton competitor

No Caption

23-year-old Rohan Markham from Ravenshoe, Queensland is one of the 40 professional...

Sam O'Connor - PBR Grafton competitor

No Caption

25-year-old Sam O'Connor from Tully, Queensland is one of the 40 professional bull...

Matt Pfingst - PBR Grafton competitor

No Caption

21-year-old Matt Pfingst from Texas, Queensland is one of the 40 professional bull...

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances