The management of Olymel L.P. has announced its decision to cease operations at its Vanier plant in Québec City and to offer a compensation and relocation program for all 47 employees affected by this closure. The decision will come into effect on May 10, according to the provisions of the Act respecting labour standards. The employees represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 501 were all informed of this earlier today during a meeting, as well as through a personalized letter. Olymel is also announcing that the Vanier plant’s activities, such as the production of cretons, bologna, pepperoni and spaghetti sauce will now be carried out at its Blainville plant, north of Montréal, which will require an additional investment of $2 million and will create 30 jobs.
Olymel will pay severance benefits to each employee affected by the closure of the Vanier plant according to the employment contract. In addition to this compensation, all employees will be offered a new job at the Olymel pork processing plant in St-Henri-de-Lévis, on the South Shore of Québec City, whose operations are very similar to those of the Vanier plant. Employees at the Vanier plant who choose to relocate will also benefit from the employer’s offer to recognize their years of service with respect to salaries and benefits.
Olymel said in a press release that its management made the difficult decision to close the Vanier plant in the general interest of the company. “In all the scenarios considered, the costs of modernizing the Vanier plant would not have allowed us to achieve profitability. This decision will enable us to strengthen our production centres for the future, to invest in achieving even more efficiency, and even to create new jobs, as will be the case in Blainville,” it said.
Olymel acquired Triomphe Foods in June 2018, in a transaction that included three plants located in Blainville and Laval in the Montréal area and in Vanier in Québec City. Following this transaction, Olymel has conducted a thorough review of the potential synergies of all three of these facilities and concluded that given the old age of the Vanier plant, the redeployment of the facility’s manufacturing activities was necessary. This decision will foster efficiency gains, economies of scale, and increased production capacity, while also eliminating overlap.