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Statement regarding Essar Steel Algoma mediation order

Signed by lawyers representing Essar Steel Algoma, Steelworkers Local 2251 and other stakeholders
Blind Justice Scales
Representatives for both USW Local 2251 and 2724 were in court Monday when Judge Newbould issued a consensual endorsement ordering mediation talks to begin later this month

The following statement about the upcoming Essar Steel Algoma mediation talks is signed by lawyers representing Essar Steel Algoma Inc., United Steelworkers Locals 2251 and 2724, the court-appointed monitor, term lenders and the ad hoc committee of Essar Algoma noteholders.

The statement was issued at the direction of Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould after a case conference on Wednesday.

As SooToday reported on Monday and Tuesday, the judge has ordered that mediation talks begin in Toronto on Mar. 22, but Local 2251 considers the order unreasonable and unconstitutional.

On Monday, Mar. 6, 2017, counsel named below attended before the Honourable Justice Newbould and worked out a consensual court endorsement, including the following points:

  1. The mediation should proceed for the benefit of all stakeholders to find an overall solution.

  2. The mediation should proceed as a CCAA [Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act] mediation and that in the meantime the Labour Relations Act procedures would be suspended. Any agreement reached in mediation should be binding on all parties, subject to ratification by the Locals 2724 and 2251.

  3. The mediator should have the full power to change or amend the mediation process, conduct, location and times at the mediator’s discretion. It was agreed that the mediation shall commence in Toronto on Mar. 22, 2017. It was agreed that the negotiating committees of Local 2724 and Local 2251 would attend the mediation in Toronto. At the request of counsel for Local 2251, Mr. Da Prat was given the option of attending by teleconference from Sault Ste. Marie.

  4. The mediation was to be held in private with no public announcements or discussions by anyone. There was no requirement that the negotiating committees of Locals 2724 or 2251 could not discuss the negotiations with their membership.

  5. No party took issue with the mediators and the mediation process at the case conference. No issue was taken as to their impartiality.

  6. The endorsement of Justice Newbould was made and signed in the presence of all counsel.

[Document signed by...]

BLANEY McMURTRY LLP, counsel to United Steelworkers Union Local 2251 Per: Lou Brzezinski

PALIARE ROLAND ROSENBERG ROTHSTEIN LLP, counsel to USW International and Local 2724 Per: Ken Rosenberg

STIKEMAN ELLIOTT LLP, counsel to Essar Steel Algoma Inc. Per: Ashley Taylor

GOWLINGS WLG (CANADA) LLP, counsel to Ernst & Young Inc., the court-appointed monitor Per: Derrick Tay

OSLER, HOSKIN & HARCOURT LLP, counsel to the term lenders Per: Marc Wasserman

GOODMANS LLP, counsel to the ad hoc committee of Essar Algoma noteholders Per: Robert J. Chadwick