Norwegian processors offer rich pickings for Irish meat workers
Norwegian meat processors are targeting skilled Eastern European workers employed by Irish slaughter plants in a move which threatens to exacerbate labour shortages in the industry.
Temporary work contracts are being offered in Norway to experienced boners and butchers who have worked in the sector for at least three years.
Between €18/hr and €22/hr is being offered for suitable staff. This is around double the pay rates available from Irish processors, where workers are generally on between €9.55/hr (the minimum wage) and €12/hr.
The international employment agency Adecco that is sourcing the staff say they are looking for "skilled butchers/slaughterers" who have experience working with pigs or cattle.
The agency is looking for workers who can "open and skin animal carcasses" and "clean carcasses for further processing".
"Our research shows that there are butchers available in Ireland, mostly Polish, who might be interested in seasonal work in Norway," a spokesperson for Adecco said.
The agency explained that it is looking for a mix of qualified butchers, as well as boners with slaughter-line experience who may not have certification.
The positions, which are initially temporary, are with the Norwegian co-operative meat processor Nortura.