News State NSW News Abattoir worker charged after complaints

Abattoir worker charged after complaints

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A meatworker has been charged with indecently assaulting co-workers at a Hunter Valley abattoir, two months after the ABC aired concerns about harassment at the business.

In March the ABC’s 730 program aired allegations of sexual harassment at an abattoir in the Hunter Valley.

A 38-year-old abattoir worker has now been charged with six counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of indecent assault.

Detectives say the charges relate three women and a man, but believe there may be more victims who have not yet reported the matters.

The ABC has been told all four were backpackers.

The man, who now lives in Sydney, is on conditional bail and is due in court next month.

Grant Courtney from the Meatworkers Union says it is a concerning case.

“We feel vindicated for the workers concerned,” he said.

“Of course 20 odd people made allegations of being harassed in their workplace.”

Mr Courtney says he is thankful for the employees who reported the harassment, despite the fact the company didn’t believe the allegations.

“Serious charges, you know, clearly we’re talking about harassment.

“We’re talking about sexual assault.

“We’re talking about this fellow handling young women, handling young men and we had a petition, with many many signatures on it which the company simply did not believe.”

He says the abattoir’s owner denied the allegations.

“We feel vindicated for the members concerned.

“20-odd people made allegations of being harassed in their workplace.

“The principle company Primo denied those allegations, generally said our comments were unsubstantiated.

“However, through the police actually now charging this individual, I would suggest that Primo actually correct those statements.”