JBS employees Ryan McLean and Sammie James are grateful to hear it will only be another four weeks until JBS is able to reopen, following asbestos removal and repairs. Photo Rachael Conaghan/The Morning Bulletin
JBS employees Ryan McLean and Sammie James are grateful to hear it will only be another four weeks until JBS is able to reopen, following asbestos removal and repairs. Photo Rachael Conaghan/The Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

JBS employees keen to get back to work after Marcia

AS RYAN McLean huddled in a cupboard in his Keppel Sands home he thought Cyclone Marcia was going to tear the house apart.

But the uprooted trees and cracks in his roof have nothing on the damage caused to his workplace, JBS Australia.

On Friday, Ryan was one of hundreds of employees who came to the Frenchville Sports Club to get an update on the clean-up operation.

Employees have been told it will be four weeks from Monday until the plant re-opens.

Ryan, who has worked at JBS for more than three years, said it was a relief to finally know when he would be able to return to work.

"It was a struggle trying to figure out what to do," he said. "I've just been trying to get through the bills and all that stuff. We've been putting everything on hold. Most of them (banks and other institutions) have been pretty good."

Sammie James has worked at JBS for almost three years, and said it was a relief to find out how long it would be until the facility would re-open.

"It's just been a waiting game really, wondering what we're doing. It's been a bit confusing not knowing what to do, whether to apply for other jobs or whether we're going to be back up soon."

Ryan and Sammie have both applied for a transfer to other facilities while the Rockhampton plant is closed, and said they did not care where they were sent as long as they had work.

They're still waiting to hear back from Centrelink about possible assistance, but they've already been to the community hub at the Walter Reid Centre and picked up food vouchers.