EDMUNDSTON, NB, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - CEP members at Fraser Papers' Edmundston mill have voted 69.3% to ratify an agreement to change the pension plan and complete the conditions required for the company to restructure and emerge from bankruptcy protection.
"This was a very difficult decision for our members but it was the least of two evils," said CEP Atlantic Vice-President Ervan Cronk, following ratification meetings held over the weekend.
"Bargaining into the wee hours of the morning, we were able to lessen the blow on pensioners and active employees," said Cronk. "The result is that they will realize about 10% more of what they would otherwise have been entitled to.
"But we have made it very clear to the company that we will be back to fight another day to restore pensions.
"Goverments must not be allowed to sit back on their heels while companies use bankruptcy protection laws to shed millions of dollars in debt on the backs of pensioners."
"We have turned a page at Fraser Papers but we will continue the fight for justice," added CEP National President Dave Coles.
"The struggle at Fraser Papers revealed everything that is wrong with a system that allows companies like Brookfield Asset Management to make pensioners and workers the victims of restructuring."
The agreement at Fraser Papers will see an 8-year extension of Fraser's insolvent pension plan. This will require legislative changes by the New Brunswick government.
SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
For further information: For further information: Evan Cronk, (506) 857-8647, cell: (506) 434-3488