June 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Saint-Agapit: Dozens of jobs lost in Agri-Bio slaughterhouse closure

Saint-Agapit: Dozens of jobs lost in Agri-Bio slaughterhouse closure

Cooperative Exceldor will close its poultry slaughterhouse in Saint-Agapit on April 21. A total of 67 people will become unemployed. The company confirmed that Agri-Bio, which it bought in 2012, had to stop operations at the slaughterhouse.

According to Denis Pocket, Exceldor’s head of government and public relations, the decision was not taken lightly. “Telling loyal employees they have to change jobs is never a good idea,” he says.

According to Mr Paquette, the last 15 months have been “particularly difficult” for the co-operative’s specialized bird slaughter plant. “It’s really wrong. We’ve recorded more than $100,000 in losses every month. It can’t go on like this. »

Exceldor will personally meet with all affected employees to help them through this difficult phase. “We are going to offer to transfer them to other branches, such as our slaughterhouse in Saint-Anselme, argued the head of government and public relations. We have significant labor needs everywhere, so we will give employees the opportunity to stay with us.

A wave of fear

The mayor of Saint-Agapit, Yves Gingras, received the news of the closure “like a crushing blow” on March 8, when Christian Jacques, general manager of the Exceldor, called to announce the bad news.

“This slaughterhouse has been operating for 30 years. […], that’s sad. There are dozens of good jobs for people in Saint-Agapit and beyond,” he notes.

The mayor himself said he worked briefly for Agri-Bio 25 years ago and has a “special attachment to the place”.

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Many citizens of the municipality were speechless when they learned that the plant had to be closed. “It was amazing, it seemed to work so well. The loss of paying jobs is a shame for the region,” said Martin Murray.

For her part, Leis Meily’s heart lit up when she heard the news, because she personally knew the former owners, the Giguere family.

“They’ve been there for years,” she said. yvon [Giguère] and his wife Rolande started with a small chicken slaughterhouse in the rue de la Ligne. It’s all the more distressing because we’ve seen them develop.

A glimmer of hope

However, since talks have already been held with a slaughterhouse owner in the area to convert the one in Saint-Agapit into a processing plant, Mr. Gingras wants.

“It’s a good indication of a place to change professions, but keep some of its staff. It will certainly be small, but it will still help to maintain good jobs. We will know more in the coming months. »

For its part, Exeldar was reluctant to go too far on the content of the talks. “We know there are people who want to take over the factory. We’re going to maintain the equipment, we’re not going to tear anything down, Denis Pocket directs. […] We are ready to transact with whoever wants to take over the plant. What they want to do with it is not up to us.