March 29, 2023


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Unhygienic housing for workers | The leader of Demers apologizes

In a letter to workers, Jack Demers apologized for the disruption of productions overseas workers’ living conditions on his Drummondville site. Press Thursday.

Coralie LaplandCoralie Lapland

“The conditions under which some foreign workers stayed from Demers are unacceptable. I apologize to the workers, our customers and consumers involved,” the company chairman said from the outset, with its letter published in the Discussions section.

Print, floor mattress, spaceless: Images aired on Radio-Canada on May 31 show unhygienic homes. 70 to 95 Guatemalas live in these conditions annually in the Saint-Nicofor field near Drummondville.

A state-owned company report says some workers have even quit their jobs to escape this lifestyle.

In his letter, Jack Demers confirmed that he had presented himself “within hours of the spread of this information.”

None of Demers’ 85 foreign workers in Saint-Nicobor is forgotten, and things are progressing smoothly. A specialized company will do an in-depth cleaning as soon as possible with all three sites.

Excerpt from a letter from Jack Demers, president of Productions Hardikols Demers

The head of Demers Greenhouses promises that “many tasks will be carried out.” Demers writes that 18 workers staying on two sites that will require extensive reconstruction will be relocated.

According to Radio-Canada, St. Nicofor’s apartments are also characterized by holes in the walls, insufficient hot water and apparent lack of space.

Company “No Awareness”

“Demers has been growing very rapidly. In recent months, strong pressure on epidemiological measures has accelerated this pace, while health measures have been making occasional visits to shelters,” writes Jack Demers. .

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Yannick Rivest, a human resources consultant at Productions Horticols Demers, told Radio-Canada that the company was first and foremost adhering to standards. He also denied that workers were able to leave the company due to living conditions.

Jack Demers now acknowledges that his company has “no awareness”. “An assessment report dated May 14 states that our sites meet the standards, but despite the health deficiencies we should go and see with our own eyes,” the head of Quebec’s largest vegetable producer concludes in his letter.

He draws a “lesson” from this, and assures that all foreign workers coming to Demers will be “properly housed.”