SAINT-HYACINTHE, QUE. — Olymel, a Canadian poultry and pork processor and distributor, plans to close its Saint-Hyacinthe pork processing plant. The facility will cease operations on Feb. 10, 2023.

Olymel gave the 107 employees at the plant a 12-week notice of termination, as required by Quebec’s Act of Respecting Labour Standards. The team members can relocate to one of four Olymel facilities — the Saint-Damase, Saint-Rosalie, Unidindon or Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant — if they wish. Those who relocate will have their years of service recognized for remuneration and benefits purposes wherever collective agreements contain provisions to that effect, Olymel said.

For employees who decide to end employment with the company, Olymel is setting up a reclassification committee to support their transition.

“This decision ties in with the restructuring of the fresh pork sector and stems from a months-long analysis that concluded today,” said Yanick Gervais, president and chief executive officer of Olymel. “Closing the Saint-Hyacinthe plant is part of the difficult, albeit necessary and responsible, measures to ensure that the fresh pork sector gets back on the road to profitability after two years of difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the labor shortage, market uncertainties and various other factors underlying the unfavorable economic situation. I would like to salute and thank the 107 employees affected by this decision. I assure them that everything will be done so they can be relocated and continue working for the company under the best possible conditions.”

In July, the company cut back on the Saint-Hyacinthe plant’s operations.

Olymel shared its decision to restructure its workforce in the fresh pork sector and reduce the volume of products requiring packaging in October. Operations previously done in the Saint-Hyacinthe plant are now able to be completed in the company’s primary processing facilities.

Olymel added that it “will be carefully weighing all available options as it decides how the plant facilities will be disposed of.”