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Olymel paying hourly bonus to workers in light of COVID-19 pandemic


March 24, 2020, Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. – Due to the gravity of the situation and the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Olymel Canada is announcing support measures that will apply to its facilities in Quebec and the rest of Canada in order to support the efforts of its employees and continue to supply food to the citizens affected by the current health crisis.

Until further notice, the company will be paying a fixed bonus of $2 per hour to all employees who are paid by the hour working in pork production, slaughtering operations, processing, further processing, transportation, maintenance, and warehousing, whether or not they have a collective agreement, in both the pork and poultry sectors. The vast majority of Olymel employees across Canada will benefit from this bonus, which may be as much as $80 extra a week.

Furthermore, the company is announcing that all administrative support service employees whose physical presence is not essential will be able to work from home.

It has already been several weeks since Olymel implemented a wide variety of measures to combat the spread of this coronavirus, including:

  • The recruitment of two medical experts to advise the company regarding the COVID-19 situation and ways to apply the directives of public health authorities;
  • The distribution of five communiqués and an information guide on the subject of COVID-19 since March 6;
  • The creation and implementation of action plans to optimize common areas in the company’s establishments and modify scheduled breaks and lunchtimes in order to maximize precautionary distancing measures;
  • The adoption of additional disinfection measures for common areas such as locker rooms, bathrooms, cafeterias and transportation shuttles;
  • The required 14-day self-isolation paid by the employer of all employees returning from abroad, as well as temporary foreign workers arriving after government directives on that subject;
  • The prohibition of visits to the company’s establishments and all non-essential travel.

“We are committed to our regions and communities,” Réjean Nadeau, president and CEO of Olymel, stated in a press release. “Olymel has mobilized all of its HR staff to support its employees through this crisis. This mobilization will continue for as long as necessary.

“Our company intends to efficiently meet the food needs of the population and appreciates the agri-food production and processing sectors being designated as essential manufacturing activities by governments, particularly in Quebec. Like the population and the governments, we recognize the essential nature of the work our employees are doing. Despite the difficult circumstances, they are working hard to produce safe and healthy food that the population needs.”

Olymel produces, processes and distributes pork and poultry meats, and employs more than 14,000 people at production and processing facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.


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