Employment Law

Olymel cutting 80 jobs, closing pig farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan


Continuing to grapple with challenging economic conditions, Olymel has announced another round of job cuts.

According to news outlets, including Global News, the company is laying off approximately 80 employees as it closes five pig farms in Alberta and one production facility in Saskatchewan.

“Over the past two years it is well documented that Olymel has experienced significant losses in the processing of fresh pork as a result of limited market access globally,” CEO Yanick Gervais said in a statement.

“Now, coupled with stubbornly high feed costs resulting in unprecedent losses in the hog sector, we have little choice but to retract and position ourselves for success in the future when conditions improve.”

The reduction comes just weeks after Olymel closed a major slaughterhouse south of Quebec City in April — affecting 994 workers.

The food producer said it will work with impacted staff to fill vacant positions within its western operations and help individuals find new employment outside the company.

Olymel claims on its website that employs a total workforce of approximately 15,000 people.

Major layoffs continue

Olymel joins the growing list of major North American companies that have announced sweeping layoffs in 2023.

Several big names, including Meta, Shopify, LinkedIn, Hudson’s Bay, Morgan Stanley, and Accenture, are significantly scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

Lyft CEO slashing jobs as ride-sharing company struggles
McDonald’s tells corporate staff to work remotely ahead of layoffs
• Layoffs in Canada

Termination agreements for Olymel employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees and senior executives at Olymel are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario and Alberta.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance packages in mass layoffs
Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance pay in a recession 

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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