Just your typical factory job with co-workers making all the difference
Having worked in the majority of manufacturing positions at Weston (Machine Operator, Mixer, Sanitation/Operation Help), they are all similar because they all suffer from the repetitiveness/same routine problem that comes alongside all factory work. However your manufacturing position will dictate how much pressure and stress you feel while working on the floor with stress levels varying from person to person depending on how production is going.
The nature of the work is definitely not for everyone as you will get dirty (but the company supplies uniforms to each employee). The work can be physical and fast paced but is not a problem as long as you use proper communication and teamwork to get the job done.
Despite being unionized, pay and benefits are rated below average to mediocre for newer employees. At the time of this review, the wage progression for new employees is also very slow and lengthy due to the outdated union contract which causes significant turnover rate. However job security is good and lots of extra money is made through overtime with a six day schedule being common.
In terms of workplace culture, your experience is largely determined by what you make of it. Management and supervisors can be hit or miss depending on your own experience, concerns and interactions. You will generally be left alone if you just do your job. However the co-workers here are the defining part of the environment and culture. From all the years working here, the co-workers
Points positifsVery good and fun co-workers, Potlucks and celebrations, lots of overtime
Points négatifsStarting pay and wage progression, long hours, you will feel the pressure from management and supervisors
Good for a pay cheque and friendships, but that's about it.
I have worked for Weston Foods part time now for the better part of 5 years. I can tell you right now that management is great, they are extremely helpful and would give you the shirt off their backs, but that's where the good things about this company ends. There is absolutely no growth or job advancement here. You can make lateral moves between departments and maybe make a few dollars per hour more, but that's it. All the salary or positions with more responsibility are posted for outside hires despite having bright people and post secondary educated employees working here. Partly to blame is the continually worsening collective agreements that just take the life out of the place. New hires can never make the amount of the people who have been here 10+ years because of the wage caps, so while you may be doing the exact same job, you can never make as much as the guy beside you most likely. I have worked in production, sanitation and maintenance and am probably one of the best/most diversely trained employees here, but they're just going to let me walk out the door when the time comes. The turnover is a little ridiculous for all the departments and the wages are low so it's hard to keep the talented people that work hard and that want to work. It's just sad for me to write this because I do like this place, but it has been proven to me time and again, that there is no future here.
Points positifsFree Bread, Flexible Hours, Good Management, Good Area
Points négatifsZero Growth Opportunities, Zero Raises, High Turnover
The actual salary that is offered to new employees is lower than what is advertised on their job offers on this website. When I applied, it was advertised as 17 to 18 $ an hour, but in reality it is closer to 16 $ an hour with a 0.80 surplus for night shifts. There are no benefits or vacation days granted to new employees, even after the initial three months. Only the long term employees who have been there for 5+ years get these benefits. The new hires are not considered full time, they are considered seasonal even when working full time shifts. There are also no possibilities of advancement/promotion at the factory. Teamwork is important for this job, but cooperation with colleagues is difficult because most people don't seem to care about hard work. The shifts are 12 hours long, and you get three 15 minute breaks (paid), and one 30 minute lunch (unpaid). Its very depressing and mindnumbing work. It is very loud in the factory because of the machinerie. The shifts are hard on the body because of the manual labor, but you get used to it after a few weeks.
Points positifslong hours (3 days/week), Overtime available during Summer (Winter not so much)
Points négatifsNo possibility of advancement, poor salary, poor work mentality from colleagues.
OMG ... the stench! Well I guess a plus would be lost appetite & weight!
Scheduled for interview, got a number to call at the door, but no one answered the in-house door-phone nor the cell number I'd been given for someone to open and let us in.
5 employees came & went on their breaks and said "yep 😃" when we told them - so respect is obviously low on the priority list.
Once finally inside, the smell was even worse, turned my stomach!
3 guys were almost done filling out a wad of paperwork, we were given the same to do; they'd been there for 2 hours!
There were wayyy too many too-personal questions before an actual hire, incl. drivers license number! And signing an ok for someone else to drive me to a job site ... ?
We just looked at eachother and said "are you ok with all this?" after 3 pages out of 25+ ... and we left. A good thing, we made a new friend.
We'd have been hired by a temp company, paid less than company/factory employees (by $.50), but would also be the first to be let go during a cut-back. Been there, done that.
Mostly everyone is very helpful and appreciates questions. They teach you and make sure you know how to properly do your job. Very team oriented for the most part. Some of the workers that have been there a long time, can be un approachable, but in time they loosen up.
Like all places, you have one or two workers that have been there a long time, that are more than willing to let new people do all the work, while they basically walk around and socialize, but it’s like that in a lot of places.
I’ve been treated really well so far. I work hard, give a full days effort, and they appreciate that, and it shows.
Advice? Yes. Show up for all your scheduled shifts, work, don’t stand around, learn as much as you can, and you’ll be fine.
Points positifsGreat environment for the most part, Free bread to take home. Two paid 20 minutes breaks (30 min lunch unpaid) supervisors that care
Points négatifsSome negative people that try to bring you down with their general miserable attitude.
Too many people from the same family working there, too much clicks, favoritism
Working at Weston's Cobourg hasn't been great. It is a place that has a lot of people from the same families working there and also people who went to schools together, family friends etc
There is so much 'click' situations there and if you don't belong to a certain circle of clicks or friends, then you are out of things.
Some of the Supervisors are close friends with some employees and they always team up together against other employees if they don't like you for whatever reason.
Also Management seem to favor employees who are their family members or friends in almost every way. Such employees always have upper hands over others in many ways!
So many employees have been there for long not because they are happy there, but because it was just suitable for our families lives. We had to put up with situations just to get by!
If you value your physical and mental health, stay away.
As I said before, if you value your mental health, and especially your physical health, stay away.
They will try to lure you in with benefits but is the point of the benefits so that you can destroy your body with awful, back-breaking, soul-crushing labor?
My first week I was told on how easy it is to get suspended as if it's some sort of initation. They (managment) will terrify you with making mistakes.
All the older guys there treat their jobs as the be all and end all; and will expect you to do the same.
You are a number there and god forbid you sit down to take a break if there is nothing to do.
Managers play favorites and are not helpful.
Save your time, your back, and your peace of mind.
You can get the same money for less work if you know where to look.
Points positifsYou know what you don't want in a job
Excellent job for those who want to advance in the company.
Fast paced so day goes by quickly. Learned how to be a Jr. Route Audit Clerk. Management was quick to recognize skills and assets and reward me for them. Co-workers were professional, friendly, hardworking, and helpful. Hardest part of the job was upper management's need to micro manage, and the distance to travel to work (4hrs/day). The most enjoyable part was the ability to adjust work hours by an hr or two, as long as 8 hrs were put in per day. Also the manager and my department were a pleasure to work with. Benefits package, and room for advancement in terms of salary and incentives was a huge motivator and a bonus.
Points positifsAbility to break up breaks i.e 15 min break divided into 2 or work through lunch and go home early.
Points négatifsDistance, upper management's need to micro manage
I have worked for this company for the last 5+ years. It was suppose to be a "one year move on" kind of job. There is room for growth if you are open minded. The health and safety team at this location is great and seems to be a priority. The people both coworkers and management are very nice and are very easy going to work with. If you are having a hard time getting along I definitely think it might not be them that's the problem. I feel that sometimes they push on certain tasks and there is a high stress level, but there are other days were the lines have stopped and they don't really force you to do anything. The pay rate is not terrible but in sanitation you are always garunteed overtime.
Points positifsBenefits, Union, great health and safety
Points négatifsShort staffed in certain areas, to many agency, union could be stronger
A typical day as a Project Manager is managing the plan and resources and of course, troubleshooting where necessary. Busy place and lots to do so continuously had to switch my hat from Kronos PM to WD PM to Integrations PM.
This Company has to be the friendliest place and extremely supportive by my management. We had the ability to have fun as well as work hard.
Teamwork was key to the success of the team, but the SME's were extremely knowledgeable and did not hold back there needs or wants. The team was also very flexible and when the late hours were called for, there was not issues, more so, proud to continue working on the solutions and implementation.
Points négatifslate hours and 3 implementations happening simultaneously.
• Fully maintain all equipment for entire facility which includes 3 full lines of food grade, highly quality controlled production. This includes troubleshooting and fixing any problem which arises that affects production as well as keeping up on preventative maintenance on all plant equipment.
• Had upward mobility in position by starting as a “B” mechanic and working my way up through pay raises and earned an “A” mechanic status and pay rate as equipment and techniques were mastered.
• Worked on all equipment in factory including conveyers, motors, servo motors, encoders, pumps, pneumatic equipment, PLC’s, frequency drives, industrial ovens, refrigerators and freezers, panwashes and all the building automation equipment used to operate such equipment.
• Extremely effective at troubleshooting non-functioning equipment to find bad part and replacing or fixing non-working part taking brand new facility which wasn’t even making quota to often meeting our orders ahead of schedule and above production quotas.
• Able to read, troubleshoot, and build off of electrical or mechanical prints provided by engineers or OE manufacturer.
• Completing assigned work orders around facility and creating new work orders to account for time spent fixing equipment as it breaks down during production.
• Create daily reports for management to account for my time and to assess breakdowns during shifts so managers could spot problem areas and trends which need addressed at a higher level
Points négatifsToo many managers not enough workers
The demands on you mentally, physically as well as your time in the week are enormous.
The upper levels of management and HR are devious and inconsistent.
Expect to be overloaded with daily, weekly and yearly tasks while being expected to keep work flow going. If there are equipment breakdowns or process issues ( which happen a lot) you are responsible to deal with that on top of everything else like IT problems, people issues, lack of mechanics and bad materials or ingredients. In the end you run out of time that day which will be tacked on to the next day. As your deficit grows there is no help or understanding or the proper tools necessary to do what's expected of you. So you have to be innovative and resourceful making your own tools which takes more time out of your week and is not appreciated by the upper levels of the company. Even if you share it with others.
If they decide they want to cast blame on you for something they will go back and find something on you to create a case. Things never mentioned to you as a problem in the past will suddenly be paramount and you will be punished without warning or a chance to make changes. In my case they used that as a pretense to force me to another shift as punishment.
While the pay and benefits are pretty good, its also a trap. You become dependent on that and they know they have you. They can treat any way they desire and with a check mate attitude.
The work as for work load and work conditions itll be one of the easiest places to work.
Having said that while the work is very easy and even paced you'll have to survive the fact that almost nobody there really knows what they're doing and everyone likes to play the blame game.
The blame game will happen and it's a guaranteed to happen on a daily basis throughout the shift because if you have leads and supervisors who barely know how to do their job and things go wrong which you know will, who do you think they're gonna blame? They arent going to admit to their own lack of knowledge or experience and admit it was due to their poor performance or decision making and they will blame anybody and everybody they can to shift the blame on something or someone else.
So if you want to work there be prepared to be the one to be used to shift the blame on.
The complete lack of experience is from the plant manager on down to include all supervisors, all leads so when it's from the top down then you know exactly what it will be like walking in the door...its a circus and we all know what rolls down hill.
Points positifsYou can take home bread
Points négatifsThe lack of inexperience really shows on every level of management and supervision
They reel you in with the high pay, but its not worth it. If you are on the hot side of the plant you are luckier but DO NOT work for the frozen area! The supervisor and leads in the frozen area don't care about their employees. They will keep you at work as long as they want with no notice. They play favorites. Some might work over and some may go home on time. They let some work harder than others and keep a close eye on their least favorite workers and let their favorite workers do whatever they want. If you are a good person and point these things out they will try their best to get you out the door! Even if you aren't in this god forsaken area you will still run into problems in every other area. Everyone in all forms of management and even HR are friends outside of work. If you have any problem they won't take care of it and don't care! They will laugh in your face if you point out a problem and tell you to get use to it. It seems all good when you first start but I've never worked for such a cruel group of people. I made a lot of money with the over time but at the end it wasn't worth the stress I was put under.
Worked with union representatives for resolution of employee grievances
IPM (Integrated Process Management) contact for corporate IPM team
Create and track weekly, period, and quarterly process capabilities (CP, CPK analysis) reports for facility
Lead two line teams of empowered employees, dedicated to reducing waste and down time. Through the efforts of these teams we are able to help keep the facility waste and down time below 2%
Lead multiple functional teams to work on special cause project
Lead functional team to develop new mixing procedures to reduce mix time, reduce energy costs, and improve finished quality. We were able to reduce mix time by 30% resulting in an annual savings of $6000. This project also reduced our customer complaints by 50%
Member of the OSHA Team
Co-chair of the S.T.O.P. observation team for facility
Conduct full incident investigations
Authored mix time tracking system to reduce variations in mix times between shifts. This resulted in reduced variance of 50%
Overall not a terrible place to work in the manufacturing world at all
Thought management treated employees relatively nice compared to other manufacturing companies I had heard about. Thought 90% of the people that worked there were great!... I worked there during the "start-up" phase of the factory so things were a little more hectic. SOP's were not set in stone so I found it difficult to learn, and found things to be fast and loose. This was especially true for me considering this was my first job in a manufacturing environment so I literally had no experience coming in. Things did seem to continuously improve over time though. They do have very talented and competent leadership working for them. It is also a great opportunistic environment with immediate meaningful contribution and career development. amenities