MONTREAL—Rogers Sugar Inc. has sugar-coated new job cuts, calling the departure of 59 hourly workers at its subsidiary’s Montreal refinery part of “productivity improvement” at the facility.
According to Rogers, 59 employees at the Lantic Inc. refinery in Montreal will be lost through a combination of layoffs, early retirements and voluntary departures.
Lantic president and CEO Ed Makin said the decision was made to help the company stay competitive in a “challenging environment” that “is putting increased pressure” on the company’s margins.
“The Canadian sugar industry operates in an open market as opposed to most other countries where the market is protected,” Makin said in a press release.
“Lantic is one of two sugar refiners in Eastern Canada along with many regional distributors and processors. As such, the Canadian marketplace is very competitive.”
According to Makin, “a process improvement consulting firm” was brought in to review the cost structure and manufacturing processes at the Montreal refinery.
“Following their analysis and a thorough review of our operations with our production team, we are now proceeding with a reorganization which will have no impact on our commitment to supply quality products and to reliably service our customers,” he said.
“These necessary changes will help sustain the long term future for our Montreal refinery, our employees and our customers.”
The company expects charges of about $2 million in administrative costs for consulting and severance in the fourth quarter related to the move.
Lantic said approximately 850 employees will continue to work across its operations in Canada during peak season at its two cane sugar refineries, as well as its beet factory, blending facility and distribution centre.