Loblaw distribution center closes: 230 people will lose their jobs in Ottawa

About 230 people will lose their jobs in Ottawa due to the closure by the end of 2021 of the distribution center of Loblaw Companies, owner of several large brands including Independent, No Frills, Loblaws, Maxi, Provigo and Pharmaprix.
T he cleaver fell Tuesday on the workers of the dry food warehouse located on Sheffield Road, along Highway 417. The same sad fate awaits the 545 employees of the distribution center located in Laval.

The activities of these two sites will be relocated to an automated complex operated by a subcontractor in Cornwall, more than 100 kilometers southeast of the federal capital.

The senior director of corporate affairs and communications for the Loblaw company, Johanne Héroux, confirmed the news to the Law and indicated that some affected employees could be transferred to other distribution centers in Ontario.

“There may be possibilities at this level, it is certain that we will work with the union during this transition period. We are going to propose solutions, ”she said.

The news was announced to workers in Laval on Tuesday, spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (TUAC), Roxanne Larouche, told The Canadian Press. This decision comes when their employment contract expires at the end of the month.

“There is never a good time to learn such news, but at least we don’t have just a few weeks’ notice,” she said in a telephone interview. That leaves us time. ”

According to Ms. Larouche, the distribution of non-perishable food will be carried out from Cornwall. The company will however continue to distribute fresh and frozen food from Boucherville, a suburb south of Montreal, where some 550 people work.

The union says it wants to sit down with the employer in order to obtain the best possible severance pay for the employees concerned.

Although this is bad news, the UFCW is hopeful that it will be able to relocate affected employees to other warehouses in a context of labor shortage.

“Maybe it can work for the affected workers,” said Ms. Larouche. It is certainly an attractive workforce for companies that operate nearby warehouses. ”

In Laval, the wages of certain workers at the top of the salary scale exceeded $ 25 an hour.

Besides the planned closure of the distribution center by the end of 2021, the UFCW ignores the intentions of the employer, who did not provide details on the next steps to come, such as the rate of layoffs.

At the time of this writing, it had not been possible for Le Droit to reach union representatives for the Ottawa warehouse.

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