Quebec did not know Old Dutch Foods plant was closing
216 people out of work
The Quebec government says there was no indication of problems at the Old Dutch Foods plant in Lachine. The warehouse and plant is now set to close September 27, leaving 216 jobless.Rohan Williams has been a sanitation worker at the facility for 11 years.
He says he saw recent signs suggesting the facility would be closing including cuts to production and consistent lay-offs. "It didn't look good," says Williams.
Still the closure today came as a shock to Williams.
"It feels like a death. The reality hasn't hit me yet. I'm going to miss a lot of my co-workers here. We had a good relationship and we had fun working here," he says.
At 49-years-old, Williams says he worries about how he will support his family. "I don't have much of a plan. The system doesn't cater to people of my age," he says.
Another employee, Rose Rufiange, has worked at the facility for 38 years.
"I'm very sad. I don't want to stay home and do nothing. I've been working since I was 15 years old," says Rufiange.
The company released a statement Tuesday night saying the nearly 50-year-old plant has reached the end of its "economic life."Industrial Policy Minister Elaine Zakaib says many factories in Quebec have not invested enough to modernize their facilities. She says Quebec is considering introducing measures that will encourage companies to spend more money on renovations.
The company statement goes on to say Old Dutch Foods has determined it's not feasible to renovate or open a new plant in the area.
The firm says Quebeckers will soon be supplied by Old Dutch Foods plants in other parts of Canada.