Olymel plant in Vallée-Jonction: Strike forces layoffs of management personnel and cancellation of deliveries

VALLÉE-JONCTION, QC, March 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Due to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing unlimited general strike by employees of the union of workers (CSN) at Olymel's hog slaughterhouse and butchering plant at Vallée-Jonction in the Beauce, the Olymel executive has announced that it has no choice but to lay off almost all managers and administrative staff working at this 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.

This announcement is unfortunately unavoidable given circumstances that are beyond the control of Olymel management. It is the result of the rejection of the final improved offer from the employer, tabled on March 18, and continued unreasonable demands by the union, which is aware that the company cannot meet them without leaving the market to competitors.

Cancellation of deliveries

In the last few days Olymel has also been forced to cancel deliveries of nearly 23,000 hogs per week from Ontario in order to stem the glut of slaughtered hogs caused by the sudden cessation of operations of the Vallée-Jonction plant. 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. 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.

The Olymel hog slaughterhouse, butchering and boning facility at Vallée-Jonction in the Beauce has more than 1,000 employees working on two shifts. Its operations generate major spin-offs for the region's economy and benefit a large number of producers and other suppliers. Located in the heart of a swine production area, it has a weekly slaughtering capacity of 35,000 pigs and manufactures boned products, various cuts of pork and fresh chilled pork. Much of its production volume is exported to foreign markets.

About Olymel

Olymel L.P. is Canada's leader in the production, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meats. The company has made feeding the world its mission, which it pursues passionately with products of impeccable quality. In carrying out its mission every day, Olymel relies on its tradition of maintaining a strong link between farm and table, as well as on innovation and attention to customer and consumer needs. The company employs close to 10,000 persons, including more than 7,000 in Quebec, and has large facilities in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Olymel exports nearly a third of its total sales, mainly to the United States, Japan and Australia, as well as over 60 other countries. Its annual sales are on the order of 2.8 billion dollars.


SOURCE Olymel l.p.

For further information: Richard Vigneault, Corporate Communications, (514) 497-1385, (450) 771-0400

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