Northern Pulp workers disappointed by rejection to make special pension payment

Adam Dras   

News ippt Paper Excellence pulp Unifor

Northern Pulp workers have put out a statement expressing their disappointment towards Paper Excellence’s decision not to make a special pension payment.
The company made its decision through a British Columbia supreme court ruling on April 29.
“The provincial government and the company can spend the next decade arguing about who will end up paying the bills, but our members do not have that luxury,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to the Unifor national president, in a statement.
“The people who worked at the mill, sustained the local economy, and built lives for themselves and their families do not deserve to be treated like political footballs, tossed back and forth between an uncooperative government and a stubborn company.”
According to Unifor, the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou, N.S. has faced ongoing uncertainty. The trade union says it has focused on ensuring the Nova Scotia government and company listen to the needs and interests expressed by the workers in this region.
Among those needs expressed, the workers had said they wanted a strategy at the mill to ensure stable forestry jobs, protect the environment and demonstrate respect for First Nations.
“This news is incredibly hard for recent retirees who have zero time left to alter their plans for their senior years, particularly as the cost of everything soars,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic regional director, in a statement.
“The Nova Scotia government set up a $63.5 million Forestry Transition Fund when Northern Pulp was forced to cease operations, which excluded workers at the mill itself. Now, it seems the company has turned its back, too, and that leaves our members without any support, and increased anxiety about their retirement.”
Unifor has also requested a meeting with Premier Houston to discuss workers’ needs at Northern Pulp but has yet to receive a response.

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