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Canadian Meat Processor Olymel to Lay Off 100 at Red Deer, Alberta, Facility

Jan. 17, 2024
Pork and poultry processor offering early retirement to attempt to minimize the number of layoffs needed to respond to tough headwinds in the hog market.

Canadian pork and poultry processor Olymel will lay off 100 of its employees at the Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, pork processing plant, according to local news reports. A company spokesperson told the news outlet that layoff notices had begun to be delivered to workers.

The company cited a downturn in the hog market for the move, and plant managers reportedly announced on Jan. 4, 2024, that the facility was overstaffed by 200 people. The company also said that some employees could get callbacks to return to their positions at the plant if the pork market improves in the coming weeks or months.

The Red Deer plant has also offered an early retirement incentive program to attempt to lessen the number of employees laid off, and the company told the news outlet that four people had already agreed to take the incentive with some 20 others having expressed interest.

Olymel was one of Red Deer’s largest employers, according to data from 2021 cited by the news outlet, with 1,800 union workers on staff.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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