130 jobs to be lost as Velan factory to shut down in St. Laurent

130 jobs will be lost as the Velan factory in St. Laurent closes and transfers its operations to India.

Velan, a publicly-traded company that manufactures industrial valves, has four factories in North America and 13 worldwide. 

Its St. Laurent factory, located on MacArthur St., will immediately begin ceasing operations. 

By 2021 it will have closed entirely. 

Yves Leduc, the company’s president and CEO, said the move was about minimizing costs.

“We’re losing money with some of our production,” he said in a conference call. 

According to the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, employees at the company make an hourly wage between $20 and $32.

The company’s decision to shut the plant, left workers and the union with a “bitter taste,” said Jacques Létourneau, the president of the CSN.

He said the decision sends a clear message to workers that if they earn a salary like that, their jobs will be given to people who make around $10 a day.

“François Legault was elected by saying that we need to create jobs that are paid $25 an hour, $35 an hour. Before creating them, can we save the ones that already exist?” he said.

For his part, Leduc said the company would “do everything” to minimize the impact on affected employees by negotiating with the union, which represents around 400 of its workers in Quebec.

However, at the end of the reorganization process, Velan’s footprint will be less critical, Leduc said.

“What’s important in my message to the market as well as to employees is that it’s necessary to reduce our cost structure in North America,” he said.