Provigo distribution center to close in Laval

Approximately 545 employees of the Provigo distribution center located in Laval will lose their jobs by the end of 2021 since the activities of this site will be relocated to the automated complex of an Ontario subcontractor.
This decision, announced to employees on Tuesday, comes as their employment contract expires at the end of the month, according to spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (TUAC), Roxanne Larouche.

“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. ”

Loblaw, the owner of Loblaw, Provigo, Maxi and Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Quebec), will 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. According to Ms. Larouche, the distribution of non-perishable food will be carried out from Cornwall.

In a statement sent by email, Loblaw did not mention the relocation of activities to Ontario.

The Brampton-based company limited itself to pointing out that its site on Francis-Hughes Street had become “obsolete” in addition to having “for all practical purposes reached the end of its useful life cycle”.

“We will begin negotiations with the union shortly, to establish transition plans and propose solutions, which includes a two-year transition period and support for those wishing to explore new possibilities within Loblaw or elsewhere within our vast network, ”said the company’s principal director for Quebec, Johanne Héroux.

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

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. ”

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.

In addition to the Laval site, a Loblaw warehouse located in Ottawa will close.

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