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.
No surprise 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 conditions.
Prime minister 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.