Province moves to protect Catalyst Paper workers
POWELL, RIVER, B.C- The province has made changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulation, protecting salaried retirees and workers at Catalyst Paper sites.
Canada-US trade relations have been getting worse for quite some time and punitive US tariffs could potentially hit 28 and a half per cent next month.
This announcement will provide more secure pension entitlements for retirees and workers in the event owners have to sell or close any of the three pulp mills in Crofton, Port Alberni, and Powell River.
In the event that these tariffs force ownership to either sell or close any of these three mills, Premier John Horgan says retirees and workers will be protected from the same fate Sears Canada experienced.
“We’ve seen in other situations, most recently Sears Canada, when Sears went under they had their pensioners at the bottom of the list, rather than at the top,” said Horgan.
“By passing the order today, we’re protecting the rights of those who have worked for Catalyst in the past, and currently work for them today.”
The premier says the province can’t stand by and watch Catalyst’s more than one thousand retirees, whose average pension is only $20,000, be last in line should these tariffs force Catalyst into bankrupcy.
The American owners of Catalyst Paper liquidated their U.S.-based assets and operations in a deal worth 175-million dollars earlier this month.
Image Caption: An aerial view of the Powell River mill. Image sourced from Catalyst Paper.