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Canada: Nadeau Poultry Farm cuts 175 jobs

Nadeau Poultry Farm in northwestern New Brunswick is laying off 175 people. The company states that a rival firm's contract with a Quebec company means it's no longer getting enough chickens for slaughter to justify their shifts.

Nadeau Poultry's Maple Lodge, near Edmundston, employs 340 people, so the announcement means that nearly half its staff are being laid off. Nadeau officials are reportedly blaming the job cuts on Group Westco, a local rival company that they say is trying to drive Nadeau out of business.

Westco teamed up with the Quebec-based Olymel in 2008, and the companies plan to open a slaughterhouse in the north to compete with Nadeau. Meanwhile, Westco is shipping its chickens to an Olymel facility in Quebec.

According to Yves Landry, GM of Nadeau Poultry, the decision has reduced Nadeau's business and led to the staff cuts.

"By doing that, then it affected the second shift that I have and partly my first shift also, so I won't have any chickens to be slaughtered for that shift," Landry said.

Earlier this year, Canada's Competition Tribunal ruled Westco could not be forced to send its chickens to the Nadeau facility.

Nadeau argued Westco controls 80% of the chickens in the province and shouldn't be allowed to take the poultry out of New Brunswick for processing. It wanted the tribunal to force Westco to continue to sell its product to Nadeau, even though there was no contract between the two companies.

Nadeau is still trying to get the provincial government to enact a bill that would prevent Westco from shipping the poultry to Quebec for processing, reports further state.

Source: CBA News

Natalie Berkhout

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