Elk Falls Workers

Campbell River B.C.

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

Special Assessment Fund to return monies to contributors…

The remainder of monies set aside for supplemental strike pay and health and welfare coverage, to assist any Locals that ended up in a labour dispute , is being returned to the Local for redistribution to those of you that contributed. Finally….

That’s the good news…

Unfortunately, since Elk Falls shut down, many of you have relocated and while we have received a number of forwarding addresses, many of you haven’t sent them in.  We will be preparing cheques over the next couple of weeks, and for those that actually want to receive the money in a timely manner, this gives you time to get us your new address before we start mailing things out.

You can call the office – (250) 286-6239
Email us at :    cep1123@telus.net
or you can reply to this post (we won’t be publishing any responses)

May 2, 2011 Posted by | General | 3 Comments

Celebration of Life for Joe Young…

We are sad to inform everyone that retiree Joe Young recently passed away.  Joe was an Ocean Falls transferee that came to Elk Falls in 1972. His job was millwrighting, but Joe was also a past President and long time executive member of Local 1123. For me, he was one of “the characters” that made going to work such an enjoyable experience. He never changed after retirement, and it was always a pleasure to chat and laugh with him whenever the opportunity arose.

There will be a Celebration of Life at the Elk Hall in Campbell River this Saturday (May 14) from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

April 10, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Employment Opportunity at Catalyst

Catalyst has an ad out looking for entry level operation positions at their Powell River division.

Here is a link to the ad if anyone is interested.


Operations Employment Opportunity and Application Process

January 31, 2011 Posted by | General | 13 Comments

Elk Falls Auction

The company has put all the equipment at Elk Falls on the Maynards Auction site now as many former employees have pointed out to me. I knew this day would come, but it still amazes me that someone would liquidate an asset as valuable as that site just to stop competition for customers and fiber. It also amazes me that we still have a government that has made absolutely no effort to stop the loss of forestry jobs while our wood gets cut down and shipped past all the empty mill sites to some other country to create jobs.
Hopefully this will mean at some point they will be willing to let some one else come in and use the site for business other than Pulp and Paper. There are still lots of great advantages to the site like a sewer treatment plant, fresh water license and pipeline, a deep sea port, a hydro substation and numerous shops and warehouses. It would sure be nice to see some jobs come into the town instead of them leaving.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | General | 4 Comments