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St. Marys Paper union in talks to save members' benefits

Saturday, March 24, 2012   by: Carol Martin

Faced with the prospect of all the employees of St. Marys Paper Corp. facing permanent job loss in the coming weeks, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada is trying to secure pension funds and other benefits of their collective agreement for its members.

"We're working with their lawyer this weekend to protect successor rights," says CEP Ontario Region Vice President Jim Ginter. "If we are not successful we'll be back in court on Monday."

The union is trying to make sure that the buyer of St. Marys Paper Corp. honours its successor obligations under Canadian labour laws.

Successor rights are labour code provisions which allow a bargaining agent to continue to represent employees in a bargaining unit and also allow for the continuation of collective agreements (until the term expires) when a cohesive business or function is sold, transferred or otherwise divested.

On Thursday, the receiver for the Sault's century-old paper mill was granted authority to sell the shuttered mill to a numbered company (2319839 Ontario Inc.) described as a consortium of companies, including an auctioneer, a real estate developer, a forest products company and a metals recycler.

The numbered company has included a clause in the purchase agreement that calls for all the current employees of St. Marys Paper to be terminated before the sale is complete.

"The purchaser has stated it may try to operate a biomass and co-gen facility, but does not expect to manufacture paper," says Pulp and Paper Canada. "Any unused assets of the mill are expected to be liquidated."

The mill did not survive a third attempt to revitalize it in the past decade and has been shut down since December, when it's insurance was pulled and its primary debtor called in its loan.

Pulp and Paper Canada says the none of the nine bids on the mill would provide sufficient proceeds to cover the debt of the mill’s primary secured creditor, International Forest Products.

"That debt is estimated in the media to be about $7 million," it said.

Earlier Coverage of this story

St Marys Paper forced into receivership today
Another key day for troubled St. Marys Paper
Paper mill then and now: What a difference a century makes
St. Marys Paper employees tired of waiting to work
St. Marys Paper Corp strikes marketing, support deal
St. Marys Paper appoints new marketing agent
St. Marys Paper co-gen plant creates 555 jobs (6 photos)
Statement from St. Mary's Paper
St. Mary's Paper to re-open with $8.8 million from province
Orazietti addresses St. Marys Paper situation
St. Marys Paper lays off 300
Click here for more good news than you can handle!
Neighbours learn about St. Marys Paper cogen proposal
Production cutbacks hit St. Marys Paper



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Newsjunkie 3/24/2012 2:38:30 PM Report

Correct me if I'm wrong here but, wouldn't the whole point of the buyer requesting that all employees be terminated PRIOR to the sale being finalized mean that there would be no successor rights to enforce as the buyer would not be inheriting the employees or their union/collective agreement?
RayDouglas 3/24/2012 7:07:59 PM Report

You are correct Newsjunkie….This is a back door attempt for a taxpayer funded payout.
ackw 3/24/2012 8:31:00 PM Report

This numbered company sounds like the same greedy crooks that just stole 12MILLION$$$ from the taxpayers thanks to Mr. $$$orrozetti. Would any one like to try and name them?? correct answer to come later...
rcamp211 3/25/2012 9:14:24 AM Report

and the answer is...
mr.monty 3/25/2012 4:12:43 PM Report

from what i have heard. this is the same group that ran the company into the ground for sake of their own buisnesses. they only want the co-gen. this way the guy who supplied the wood to st. marys at an inflated price will sell to the co-gen at an inflated price. the company. that supplied the maint. to st. marys will supply the maint. people to the co- gen at an inflated price! and so on. all under buisness asscoiates or family members.they will be there. orrazetti should hang his head in shame! no st.marys then no co-gen. besides we do not need the polution from the burning of wet wood or the new pests that will be brought to the soo in the wood?
Canadian Capitalist 3/31/2012 2:20:03 PM Report

Scrap the "successor rights" clause and get on with it. The sooner we rid the country of "MOST" of these unions the better off our economy will be.
Canadian Capitalist
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