Olimel employees in Princeville were surprised by management’s decision to close their factory doors on November 10.
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Their union president Steve Houle said this in an interview on the “Vosafires” show.
“It’s even more of a shock today because we really didn’t expect to be shut down so soon,” he said.
“It was a surprise to everyone,” he says. When the owner announced the news to the workers in the cafeteria, they were speechless, no comments, no questions, it was cold.
The union president reported that Olimel’s reasons for justifying the closure were purely economic.
“The reasons are mostly financial,” he said. There was a discussion about profitability, so it would be more profitable for them to manufacture their products in pig slaughter factories. It’s not a question of labor, it’s not a question of product quality.
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The plant stopped slaughtering pork a few years ago, warning employees of a possible shutdown, though they didn’t expect it so soon.
“Knowing about Olimel, it’s really the beginning of the end,” Mr Houle said. In the past, Saint-Hyacinthe had a butt removal factory that closed and repatriated the butts to local factories where pigs were slaughtered. We know that in the long run we won’t survive much longer.”
Steve Houle believes that the majority of workers prefer to find another job rather than relocate.
Watch Mr. Houle’s full interview in the video above