Olymel announced this week it is closing its Blainville and Laval further processing facilities. The decision, which is part of a reorganization undertaken in 2021 aimed at optimizing operations, will result in the loss of 170 jobs in total. The United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW 1991P) representing the workers at the Blainville plant, as well as all employees at both facilities, were informed of this decision and given 12 weeks’ notice of termination in accordance with the provisions of Quebec’s Act respecting labor standards.
The date of cessation of operations has been set for April 28, 2023. The company will offer opportunities to relocate to other Olymel facilities; a plan to that effect will be presented in the coming weeks. An outplacement committee will also be set up to assist employees who wish to change careers.
Yanick Gervais, president and CEO of Olymel, commented, “The decision to close our two processing plants in Blainville and Laval is part of the reorganization that began more than a year ago and is due to the ability of other facilities to produce the same products and therefore achieve savings and efficiencies. I know that this is a difficult decision for the affected employees, but I want to reiterate our firm commitment to relocate any who wish to do so in our other Olymel facilities.”
Gervais said the decision should enable the company to achieve operational optimization objectives more rapidly in “unfavorable economic conditions, with rising raw material costs, labor shortages and the weakness of certain markets all affecting the company’s profitability.”
The Blainville and Laval plants have 134 and 36 employees, respectively. These two facilities are specialized in the production of hams, pâtés and deli meats marketed under various brand names, including La Tour Eiffel and Nostrano. Most of these brands will be maintained and production volumes will be handled by other Olymel facilities, mainly in the pork further processing plants.
The fate of the buildings housing the two facilities will be assessed at a later date, before the final closure on April 28.