Olymel announces closure of Quebec processing plant

The closure will impact 135 employees
calendar icon 23 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Olymel management announced the definitive closure of its Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant last week, which processed mainly poultry products, but also a few pork products. 

The decision comes against a backdrop of falling production volumes, which has led the plant to operate at only 40% of its operational capacity. A reorganisation of production within the Olymel family will enable operations to be redeployed to neighbouring plants with residual capacity to handle these volumes.

The closure will affect a total of 135 employees, including 23 non-regulated employees and 30 employees with temporary foreign worker status. The employees concerned were informed of this news. The date for the end of operations and definitive closure of the plant has been set for July 19, bringing the closure notice period to 13 weeks.

Employee relocation

Olymel will shortly be implementing a relocation plan to enable employees of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant who so wish to be relocated within the company to neighbouring plants with labour needs, notably in Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Unidindon), Saint-Damase, Ange-Gardien or Boucherville (distribution centre). 

In these cases, years of seniority will be recognised for compensation and benefits purposes once the approval of the unions at the plants concerned has been obtained.

For employees with temporary foreign worker status attached to this plant, Olymel will take steps with federal and provincial authorities to enable them to apply for relocation to another Olymel facility.

"The decision to close the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant is part of a major shift in production volumes and a situation of significant overcapacity at the plant. Other Olymel facilities located nearby, where we have residual capacity, will be able to handle these volumes with a view to achieving savings and efficiency gains. This is a difficult decision for the employees affected, and one we regret having to make. We are aware of the value and expertise of our employees at the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant, and we are determined to keep as many of them as possible within the Olymel family. That's why we're going to put in place a solid relocation plan that will enable those who wish to do so to pursue their careers within our organization," said Yanick Gervais, Olymel's president and CEO.

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