"CEP will take all possible legal and political actions to ensure that
there is justice for Fraser Papers retirees"
Dave Coles, president, CEP
GATINEAU, QC, April 26 /CNW/ - At a demonstration organized by retired
employees of the Fraser Papers mill in Thurso, Dave Coles, President of
the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, says that
the union will "take all possible legal and political actions to ensure that there is
justice for Fraser Papers retirees." Coles said that the union's lawyers are examining grounds for a civil
suit against the company over the administration of the pension plan.
"We believe that our retirees who lost 35% of their pensions are victims
of mismanagement by this company, and we fully intend to ensure that
they are held accountable for their actions," said Coles.
Renaud Gagné, Vice-president of the CEP in Quebec, stressed that the
union would provide both the retired employees and the active members
with its full support for their cause. "This file has always stuck in our craw. Deviously shirking one's
financial obligations to the pension plan is unacceptable. We intend to
continue fighting to prevent this kind of situation from recurring," Mr. Gagné explained.
Fraser Papers, which is owned by Brookfield Asset Management, placed
itself under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act
(CCAA) last year and was not obliged to pay into the pension plan to
return it to solvency. From the outset, the union has denounced the
fact that while Fraser Papers has been casting off all its obligations,
"Brookfield Asset Management remains profitable and in good financial
health. It's ridiculous," said an angry Mr. Coles.
In total, over 800 retired employees were affected when ownership of the
kraft pulp mill in Thurso passed from MacLaren, to Noranda Forest and
then to Fraser Papers.
The CEP is the largest union in the forestry and wood processing sector
Source: Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada www.cep.ca
SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628