• Loddon Herald

Final months on edge

GRANT Simmons and Graeme Falls were among 30 employees who lost their jobs when Scato Plus went into liquidation last month.

The two long-time staff members at the Newbridge site last weekend spoke of the supportive environment that had once existed at Scato Plus for workers.

Grant had been with the company for almost 17 years and became a team leader. But the atmosphere changed earlier this year to one of uncertainty with the owners making plans to retire and sell the operation.

The Loddon Herald understands a sale was close to finalisation in March but fell over two months later.

“We really didn’t know what was going on ... there were rumours left, right and centre,” said Grant at his Bridgewater home last weekend.

“People were on edge and not knowing if they would have a job the next day. People were stressed out.

“We had gone back to basic hours and were sometimes finishing early and the compost being produced has dropped off. So it didn’t comes as a surprise.”

Grant has been one of the lucky workers, picking up new employment in Bendigo.

The story has not been as good for Graeme who had travelled from Eaglehawk daily since 2011. Now 63 and with a disabled son, Graeme said age was making it difficult to find a new job.

Both Grant and Graeme said directors Mick Surridge and Bill Littleson had helped them and other workers when facing personal challenges.

“They looked after us,” said Grant who received a special certificate when notching up 10 years with the company.

“And the Christmas parties were great occasions for our families,” said Graeme.

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