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Olymel Downscales Iberville Plant

by 5m Editor
27 April 2010, at 8:56a.m.

CANADA - Olymel l.p. announces a major rationalisation of operations at its Iberville poultry processing and packaging plant.

Olymel l.p. has announced that it will embark on an extensive rationalisation of operations at its poultry products processing and pre-packaging plant in the Iberville district of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which will result in the loss of 183 jobs and changes in three of its other facilities specialising in poultry, i.e., at Berthierville (Lanaudière) and Ste-Rosalie (Montérégie) in Québec and Brampton, Ontario. The Iberville plant, which currently employs 308 workers, produces mainly skewers, tournedos steaks and other poultry, fresh traypack products, and deboned chicken thighs.

Olymel President and CEO, Réjean Nadeau, explained: "This rationalisation will eliminate 183 jobs at Iberville, which has unfortunately become necessary in order to combine the same type of activities in a market where we are facing lower demand for certain products. This reorganization will result in significant gains in efficiency, better productivity and major cost savings, in particular on transportation costs. We hope to maintain as many jobs as possible in a very competitive poultry market, and we are doing our best to re-assign the laid-off employees."

Fresh pre-packaged product operations currently being done at the Iberville plant will be carried out at the poultry slaughtering and cutting plant at Berthierville, which already supplies raw materials to the Iberville plant. This will make it possible to maintain all the jobs at the Berthierville plant. The Iberville plant will also cease its chicken thigh deboning operations. The Olymel facility at Brampton, Ontario, which already specialises in this operation, has enough capacity to meet demand in this product category. Lastly, chicken deboning volumes currently being done at Berthierville will now be processed at the Olymel plant in Ste-Rosalie, which will mean that 25 employees will be recalled at this plant in the Montérégie. This rationalisation of operations thus represents a shift in product volumes, but does not require any equipment relocation.

One hundred and twenty-five jobs will be maintained at the Iberville plant in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in the tournedos, skewer, souvlaki and processed poultry sector. The 183 employees whose positions will be eliminated, including 155 persons assigned to production, five to maintenance and 23 management personnel, have received lay-off notices in accordance with the provisions of the Act respecting labour standards. The notice goes into effect in 12 weeks, on 16 July. A re-assignment committee will be set up, and when hiring to meet its manpower needs at other facilities the company will give preference to employees who have been laid off.