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It took Olymil more than three weeks before announcing the closure of its factory

In the past few days, the workers received a letter confirming the end of the activities in the factory, which is the largest in Boss with more than 1,000 employees. It wasn’t the content that caught the eye, but a poster from Purolator handing out messages to employees.

If the letter was dated April 14, the poster containing the address of the recipients would have been produced on March 24, several days before the lockdown announcement to the bewilderment of the Boss municipality.

Letters and envelopes had been ready for weeks and she said nothing. They didn’t respect usOne of the factory workers, who wished to remain anonymous, lamented.

On the left you can see the date of production of this label, which is located on the envelopes intended for Olemel workers.

Photo: Anonymous

Responding to a question from Radio Canada, Olimiel confirmed that the decision to close its Vallée-Jonction facility was approved on March 22 by the company’s board of directors.

Naturally, there would need to be a period of time between the board’s green light and the announcement of such spokesperson Richard Vigneault said in an email.

During this three-week-plus period, Olimil says she did her best to prepare the ad by looking at all aspects of the file, human resources, collective agreement, logistics and the organizational aspect.

We had to make sure that we could mobilize our staff and management teams to prepare this announcement in a confidential manner.Mr. Vigneault continued.

However, he maintains that under no circumstances could Olimil have made this declaration on 24 March.

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Purolator addresses are part of the daily management of business transactions. All layoff notice letters, without exception, were sent on April 14, the day of the announcementdid he say.

Olimel also contends that the plant closure was a key component of the renewed pig marketing agreement announced this week.

In the aftermath of the shutdown, Vallée-Jonction plant manager Alexandre Dion said he learned of the news just a day before the April 14 announcement. Some media had confirmed the information the day before.

They are worse than I thoughtsays the union

The Olymil Trade Union deplores the employer’s decision to wait so long.

They have kept the world in the dark all these weeks. Management at Saint-Hyacinthe is worse than I thoughtdenounced Martin Morris, the union’s president.

We are speaking with potential buyers at the moment. If we had known in March, we would have started our discussions and avoided these cutsHe continued in an interview with Radio Canada.

The union maintains that it never considered closing Vallée-Jonction, and Main from Olimil.

Martin Morris in front of the Olmel factory.

Martin Morris, President of the Olemel Workers Union in Valley Junction

Photo: Radio Canada

We had no idea we were about to close. With all the numbers we saw, we were the best and the most profitable. Other factories lose a lot of money. That’s why we never considered closingMorris confirms.

Olymel stresses that Vallée-Jonction’s aging facilities require an investment of $40 million.

Yes, there were rumors, but we really thought another factory would be shut down, the Yamachiche plant, for example.Morris confirms.

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the experts wonder

According to Hanen Khemakhem, professor in the Department of Accounting Sciences at UQAM and co-chair of the Desjardins Guy-Bernier collaboration, the delay has been abnormally long.

It’s clearly not a listed company that’s very prone to leaks, but that’s not the best decision. […] Especially when there are rumors, it does not help the organizationshe indicated.

What’s more, according to her, the decision likely matured a long time ago and seemed obvious.

The decision seems final to me, there is no turning back, no maybe. The closure was approved by the board of directors, but the analyzes leading to it were likely done months earlier.

For Dominic Martin, professor in the Department of Organization and Human Resources at UQAM, questions arise about the company’s strategy.

If we say publicly that we are concerned about the impact on workers, that should also be reflected in the decisions and management of corporate communications. If there is a long inexplicable delay, this may not reflect the concerns we say. Shoes don’t follow your lipsnotice.

On the contrary, it is not uncommon to see a delay of a few weeks when making important decisions, Louis Hébert, professor of strategy at HEC Montréal, believes.

For a company to offload such a historic plant… It’s not a decision we make lightly. We do not want to take its implementation lightlyhe thinks.

The CAQ government also claims that it was only informed of the situation at the time of the official announcement.

When there are rumors going around, there is always a bottom […] Of course, I wish we weren’t the target, because we have a very high concentration of hogsThe CAQ MP for Beauce-Nord, Luc Provençal, reassured this week.

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The Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity received notification of the collective dismissal from Olmel on April 14, 2023. Since then, it says it has been working to help employees reclassify.

The Minister for Employment and Social Solidarity, Katterie Champagne-Jordan, took part in meetings to this effect in Valley Junction this week.