Huge Grocery Store Set to Cut Jobs in Halton and Beyond
With Sears shuttering its stores, it’s no surprise that massive corporations are feeling the effects of the minimum wage increase in Halton and beyond. Now, yet another large company is set to cut jobs in the coming years.
METRO Inc. has announced an anticipated loss of about 280 jobs starting in 2021 - 180 full-time and 100 part-time.
That might be four years away, but METRO is set to “modernize its operations” from 2018-2023, investing $400 million in its Ontario distribution network in particular.
The plan is to build two brand new distribution facilities - one fresh and one frozen - both of which will leverage technological improvements like automation (hence the job-cutting).
“This investment will enable METRO to continue its growth and expansion in the Ontario market,” says Eric R. La Fleche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Inc. “With a new and modernized supply chain infrastructure, we will be even more responsive to the needs of our customers.”
So, it seems like more jobs will be automated, and less will be done by humans. That’s not a new concept - many companies are automating jobs across the board.
“METRO’s existing distribution network in Toronto was built for the most part more than 50 years ago and no longer meets the evolving needs of the business,” said METRO in a statement.
A number of factors could be influencing the impending job cuts and automation at METRO, like the minimum wage increase as previously stated, and even advancements in technology that look to reduce human error and create smoother processes.
“The new distribution centres will provide improved product assortment and selection accuracy as well as more flexibility which will allow us to improve service to our store network and customers,” states Carmen Fortino, Executive Vice President and Metro Ontario Division Head. “In addition, they will feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance efficiency.”
Currently, there are six METRO distribution centres in Ontario which employ over 1,500 employees. In proportion, 280 might not seem like many, but it is unfortunate for those who get laid off.
“Working with our employees and our union, we will provide those who will be impacted by this decision with a range of transition measures to support them throughout the process,” says Fortino. “Fortunately, we have some time to plan the transition.”
It remains to be seen where the new distribution centres will open. Hopefully, METRO won’t have to cut too many more jobs in the near future.
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