Elk Falls Workers

Campbell River B.C.

Catalyst reports reaching agreement on sale of Elk Falls Site….

Last week Catalyst Paper announced an agreement it reached with Pacifica Deep Sea Terminals Inc for the sale of the Elk site. The $8.6 million deal is expected to close by September 5, 2012.

Pacifica Owner and Director Harold Jahn, says they “intend to transform it into a dynamic industrial park and port facility with the goal of creating 400 full time jobs in the Campbell River region over the next three years.”

This could be good news for Campbell River, tell us what you think?

August 20, 2012 Posted by | General | 7 Comments

Catalyst Restructure plan fails… Sale process to begin.

99.5% of Catalyst Paper‘s secured creditors voted in favour of the company’s restructuring plan. Only 51% of the unsecured creditors voted in favour. Both classes of creditors needed to pass the plan by 66 2/3% in order for it to pass. (the press has been reporting that 64% of the unsecured creditors voted in favour, but the $100 million claim made by the union is being disputed, they rolled that amount in to see if the plan would pass with the disputed votes, but it was still short by 3%)

Since the amended plan of arrangement was not approved at the meetings, Catalyst Paper is now required to commence a sales process.

So whats next for retirees…. Well right now there won’t be any change until we see who the successful bidder is. If the secured creditors “Stalking Horse” bid is successful, then there won’t be any impact, but if other players become involved that could all go out the window. keep your fingers crossed that no-one else wants to bid.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | General | 5 Comments

Arbitration Update…

We ran a number of arbitrations last November, and because of Catalysts current financial difficulties the decision on some was delayed.
Today (May 3) we received the arbitrators decision to the question – whether Employees who were 55 or older when severed under the permanent closure language were eligible to receive retiree benefits and pop-up bridging if they retired.
The Company took the position that employees had to make a choice. If they wanted retiree health benefits and pop-up bridging they had to sever their employment and retire, or they could take their severance, but then they wouldn’t qualify for the retiree benefits and pop-up bridge. It was either one or the other, not both.

Arbitrator Hall has ruled that the Company was incorrect in the application, and that people could sever and get the retiree benefits from the collective agreement.

This award doesn’t apply to a large number of people, but for those that it does apply to, it has huge consequences.

For a PDF copy of the award Click Here

May 3, 2012 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

Information for Elk Employees on Disability Benefits.

Click here for a document with details pertaining to Elk Falls employees who are or have been receiving disability benefits, and how the CCAA process may effect you. Disability Questions related to CCAA – February 24 2012

February 29, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Catalyst Files for Creditor Protection…

Jan 31, 2012 – Catalyst anounced today that to facilitate an orderly restructuring of its business and operations, they were filing for an Initial Order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia to commence proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The terms and conditions of the restructuring plan have not yet been determined by the company.

Catalyst had been working on a plan to retructure it’s debt. There were several conditions of that plan that needed to be met before Jan 31st. Unfortunately they came up short on two of those conditions

(a) a new labour agreement ratified by all six union locals at the company’s BC mills and
(b) two-thirds support of all 2014 and 2016 bondholders.

The CEP is retaining legal council to represent the interests of both past and current members at the CCAA proceedings.
Along with all the 1123/630 retirees, there are still many members on LTDI benefits from Catalyst, and I appreciate that they all have questions about how they could be impacted by this news.

Health & Welfare Benefits, Bridging, and Pension top-ups are just a few of the several areas of concern that people have been calling about, but at this time we are unsure of the answers. As we find out more information, I will ensure its posted here. Feel free to post any questions you may have, even though we don’t currently have answers, your questions could help us identify other issues that we aren’t even aware exist.

January 31, 2012 Posted by | CEP Issues, General | 8 Comments

Another arbitration

The local had another arbitration yesterday. This one is about members that severed when over the age of 55 years old and aren’t getting retiree benefits or bridging at 60 years old. Like the last one we now await the decision. Hopefully in the next month or two.

I know how frustrating it has been for the retired members that have waited so long for an answer to these grievances.

Hard to believe how much time has gone by since the closure. Hopefully everyone’s lives are going well.

November 11, 2011 Posted by | General | 13 Comments

Arbitration for disability pay updates

The local was in Vancouver last week for an arbitration about disability pay. The company has refused to provide the negotiated updates for members that were off on long term disability prior to Dec 2008, that’s when we signed the current collective agreement.We believe the updated language applied to all members not just the ones that went off on disability after the agreement was signed.

The arbitration seemed to go well so now we wait for a decision.


November 8, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Service Canada to review allocation of grievance award money…

A past member stopped by this morning to tell us that he had been informed by Service Canada that they are going to do a review of how they reallocated the monies that some Elk Falls people received from Catalyst late last year.

The money was, for the most part, to compensate people for the Company’s decision to pay out earned time off at base rate.  People expected it to be considered an adjustment to moneys already earned (and claimed for E/I purposes) , But Service Canada took the position that it was money earned for additional hours and this meant people were in some cases asked to repay E/I money they had received.

I have no idea how long it will take them to review, but it is potentially good news for those who had to repay part of their E/I money.


October 7, 2011 Posted by | General | 4 Comments