Olymel to close two Quebec pork plants
Canadian meat processor Olymel LP will close two pork
processing plants near Montreal in spring 2007, cutting almost 560 jobs.
This latest restructuring in the Quebec meat industry is due to global
competition and a strong Canadian dollar.
The company, having plants in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and
Alberta, said earlier this week that a plant at St-Valerien-de-Milton (having
153 employees) and another at St-Simon-de-Bagot (having 406 employees) will
close at the end of March.
The last closure is no surprise - unions
have been fighting the announced closure for several months now. The case is
still in courts.
The closing down of the St-Valerien-de-Milton plant is more of a surprise
as it is 'is a model of productivity, a profitable and excellent plant',
according to trade union representatives.
Olymel recently said
about 4,000 of its jobs in Quebec are at risk in the fresh-pork sector if
nothing is done to improve production, marketing, slaughtering and processing
The company had already hired former
Canadian prime minister Lucien Bouchard to help restructure the troubled
industry in the province.
Earlier this fall, Maple Leaf Foods, the Toronto-based food processor with
24,000 employees, announced it is backing out of fresh pork international
markets and cancelled plans for a $110 million pork plant in Saskatoon.
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