Steelworkers call on N.S. government to step in and change Trenton works trustee: Workers owed millions



    TRENTON, NS, March 28 /CNW/ - Members of the United Steelworkers' (USW)
are calling and visiting their MLAs, and have even met with the premier, to
convince the Nova Scotia government to get rid of Ernst and Young as the
trustee for the bankrupt Trenton Works.
    "Our union and the province are the only two main creditors," said USW
Ontario/Atlantic Assistant Director Marie Kelly.
    A creditors' meeting is scheduled for Monday (March 31) and Kelly says
the government must show that it supports communities like Trenton, whose
major employer was allowed to slide into bankruptcy by its US owner, the
profitable Greenbrier Companies.
    "Based on past experience with Ernst and Young over the demise of Sydney
Steel, we have no confidence in this company to do the right thing by the
community or workers," she said. "We need to be sure that our claims will be
dealt with."
    There are 39 former office and technical employees owed severance
amounting to $1.5 million, a pension shortfall of $6.8 million and a benefit
shortfall of $157,000. The province, through a loan guarantee, is owed $8.8 
million.
    "Something smells when it appears that all other creditors appear to have
been paid before the company went into bankruptcy," Kelly said. "There needs
to be an inquiry by a trustee that hasn't been involved to date, and one that
can come into the situation in a neutral position to determine whether
something inappropriate has occurred.
    "The government of Nova Scotia owes to its citizens every effort to
support communities and jobs. We want the province to join with us as full
partners in the search and recruitment of a new buyer for TrentonWorks.
    "For us, the real bottom line is that we want the plant to be purchased
and production started up with a plan to employ as many workers as possible
for the long term."





For further information:

For further information: Marie Kelly, (416) 243-8792, (416) 705-3627;
Lawrence McKay (USW Staff Representative), (902)752-1344, (902) 331-1058


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