May 19, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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“She has no guarantee”: the heartfelt cry of the spouse of an Olimel factory worker in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

"She has no guarantee": the heartfelt cry of the spouse of an Olimel factory worker in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The 135 workers at the Olymel factory in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu went into labor the day after the company announced it was closing the premises permanently.

• Also Read: Olymel: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu factory closed

Although Olimel management has stated that it wants to evacuate as many workers as possible, employees and their loved ones do not know what will happen after the July 19 shutdown and even before this date.

“I'm worried about my partner because she hasn't deposited part of the pension fund yet. I'm worried about his vacation; she has no way of knowing if it's accumulated in her pay scale. In terms of labor standards, she should have a vacation bank, but no amount on her salary. Not written,” the spouse of a worker at the factory told TVA Nouvelles from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

“Because they didn't get a letter, she had no guarantee that she would be working 40 hours a week until July 10. Then they said they could change them, (but) Boucherville is a warehouse where they are forklift operators, so usually men can do it and they must do their forklift operator training. So, it's impossible for women to work there. Saint-Damas is a factory 50 kilometers away and most of the people who work here come to work on foot,” he added.

Screenshot TVA News

Olimel has received a $150 million investment from the Quebec government in 2021, but many are criticizing the company for shutting down.

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However, Olymel management claims that 40% of the workforce at the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu factory is underutilized.

The company operates in four business segments: Fresh Poultry, Processed Poultry, Processed Pork and Fresh Pork.

“The top three sectors continued to perform well despite the pandemic and labor shortage. On the other hand, in the fresh pork sector, [la situation] leading to several closures,” explained Paul Beauchamp, Olimel's first vice president, to TVA Nouvelles.

Screenshot TVA News

However, the fresh pork sector is facing a global crisis.

To see the full details, watch the video above.

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