Huge job losses at Canadian poultry processor

04-05-2011 | | |

Canadian meat processor, Olymel has announced that it will continue the restructuring of operations begun last year at its Iberville poultry products further processing and pre-packaging plant. The changes will result in the loss of 120 jobs.

Since last year the Iberville plant has focused its operations on the production of chicken tournedos and skewers. Most of the production volume will be taken over by a nearby Olymel plant located in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. This redeployment will require renovations to the latter facility entailing an investment of over half a million dollars that is expected to create some 30 new jobs in addition to the current staff of 85 employees at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant. These new jobs will be offered first to employees who were laid off from the Iberville plant.

“Olymel does not take the decision to cut these jobs lightly. Since the restructuring that began last year, market conditions have not improved and current low production volumes for chicken tournedos and skewers no longer justify continued operation of the Iberville plant. These changes should generate significant economies of scale in our operations. Renovation of our St-Jean-sur-Richelieu facility is expected to create new jobs that will be offered first to laid-off Iberville employees, and the company will provide all necessary assistance through the Job Placement Committee it will set up,” noted Réjean Nadeau, President and CEO of Olymel.

In accordance with the Act respecting Labour Standards, 120 employees at the Iberville plant received layoff notices, including 105 in the production sector, 10 management and support staff and 5 others assigned to maintenance. The layoff notices go into effect in 16 weeks, on August 19 when the Iberville plant will cease operations. Meanwhile, a Job Placement Committee will be established to support laid-off workers in finding new employment or help them relocate to other Olymel facilities.

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