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Olymel optimizing production at Red Deer plant with shift changes

100 more workers still needed in Red Deer
Red Deer’s Olymel meat processing plant. (File photo by Advocate Staff) Olymel is looking to hire 100 full-time workers at its Red Deer plant. (File photo by Advocate Staff)

A plan to re-organize night and day shifts will impact some workers at Red Deer’s pork processing plant Olymel in order to optimize production as Canadian manufacturers continue to experience labour shortages, says the company.

Olymel spokesperson Richard Vigneault said changes will impact about 110 workers, and there will be no layoffs.

“On the contrary, we are still hiring like many other manufacturers. We are still in need of manpower. There’s no layoffs,” Vigneault said.

He said a notice went out to employees in early November. Changes to work assignments are allowed under the collective agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401. Similar changes happened at the plant in July which were very successful.


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Across Canada, Olymel is looking to hire 3,000 more workers, including 100 full-time workers for the Red Deer plant.

“There was a shortage in labour before the pandemic and the pandemic made it worse. There is a lot of fierce competition between different companies.”

Vigneault said procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are still in place and Olymel staff in Red Deer continue to meet weekly with Alberta Health Services. The last active case of COVID-19 was reported on Nov. 1.


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Last week interim CEO Yanick Gervais was appointed Olymel’s new president and CEO. Gervais had been senior vice-president of operations and was responsible for managing over 30 pork and poultry processing plants, mostly in Quebec, but also in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. He was also overseeing the company’s logistics and engineering departments.

Olymel CEO Réjean Nadeau died in October after battling cancer.

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