Olymel cancels deliveries, announces layoffs

by Erica Shaffer
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VALLEE-JONCTION, Quebec – Olymel cancelled deliveries of nearly 23,000 hogs per week from Ontario due to a strike at the company's second-largest plant.

Workers at the pork-processing plant in Valle-Jonction in Beauce went on strike after labor contract negotiations stalled between the company and the union representing the workers.

Olymel said the company cancelled deliveries to stem a glut of slaughtered hogs caused by strike. The plant operates as a butchering and boning facility. More than 1,000 employees work at the plant on two shifts.

“Through collaboration with Éleveurs de porcs du Québec and other slaughterhouses, Olymel and its partners have, however, taken a series of measures to limit adverse consequences for Quebec producers caused by the strike by Vallée-Jonction employees, in particular, the problem of disposing of hog production,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, Olymel believes that cancellation of its hog deliveries from Ontario has already compromised a full resumption of activities if the Vallée-Jonction plant were to resume operations.”

In addition to the cancelled deliveries, Olymel also layed off almost all of the managers and administrative staff working at the plant.

“Management of the plant in Vallée-Jonction thus regrets that, after trying to relocate them to other facilities, due to force majeure it has had to notify nearly 50 non-union employees that their presence is no longer required on the worksite starting from Monday, March 30,” the company said.

Olymel and the Confederation des syndicats nationaux (CSN), the second-largest trade union federation in Quebec, have spent four months in negotiations.
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