Yes will open gates

COMMUNITY VOICE: The Myrtleford community turned out strongly at Monday’s meeting to hear the facts of the 10-week mill lock-out. PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg

CARTER Holt Harvey chief executive Prafull Kesha has told Alpine mayor Ron Janas that Myrtleford mill workers will be invited to return to work if they vote later this week to accept the company’s contentious pay deal.

Councillor Janas on Monday night relayed to a packed meeting at the town’s Ablett pavilion his conversation earlier in the day with the New Zealand-based company boss about the impact on the community of what has become a 10-week lock-out.

The mayor told the 150-strong crowd of business and community organisation representatives, residents, union and non-union mill employees, union leaders and parliamentarians that Mr Kesha had said the mill had turned one profit of $650,000 in the past six years.

“So, financially, it’s not a great business to have, but he did say it is viable and (CHH) would like to keep it going,” Cr Janas said.

“So there is great hope there.”

But Mr Kesha had indicated to the mayor that the company needed industrial stability to maintain its Myrtleford operation.

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