AbitibiBowater obliged to pay workers: minister

Sue
Sue Hickey
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Forestry

The province may have stepped in to cover severance payments and pensions for displaced and retired AbitibiBowater workers when the mill shut down, but that doesn't mean it's cutting the paper giant any slack.

Industry Minister Shawn Skinner contends the company - now in bankruptcy protection - should still pay the workers.

The AbitibiBowater mill in Grand Falls-Windsor. - Transcontinental Media file photo

Windsor -

The province may have stepped in to cover severance payments and pensions for displaced and retired AbitibiBowater workers when the mill shut down, but that doesn't mean it's cutting the paper giant any slack.

Industry Minister Shawn Skinner contends the company - now in bankruptcy protection - should still pay the workers.

"We strongly feel that severance is an obligation of the company," said Skinner, who also chairs the ministerial task force responsible for helping the central region with economic diversification since the mill shut down in December.

Skinner said he hasn't had any direct contact with the company, since correspondence is being co-ordinated by a transition team.

"At this time, we are continuing to work closely with the union and other partners to ensure that government's commitment to provide severance for mill workers (unionized and non-unionized), silviculturists and loggers, and certain entitlements under the Work Force Reduction Program and Early Retirement Allowance program takes place as quickly as possible," he said.

AbitibiBowater spokesman Jean-Philippe CotÉ, director of public affairs and government relations, said he has nothing new to report.

"We are still continuing with our restructuring," said CotÉ.

"We are still under bankruptcy protection. We are in the early process, but everything is coming together. When there are new developments we will certainly be willing to share them."

AbitibiBowater is still continuing its action against the government under the North American Free Trade Agreement, in response to the government's expropriation of some of its assets.

It could be years before that dispute is resolved.

Organizations: AbitibiBowater

Geographic location: Windsor

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • SAMUEL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    WELL I THINKS SEALERS NEED SOME COMPENSATION OUR GOVERMENT CAUSED OUR MARKETS TO GO BY NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT OVER THERE IN EUROPE EVEN WHEN THE SEALS ARE PLENTYFULL. MR WILLIAMS NEEDS TO RECIGNIZE THIS AND STEP UP TO THE PLATE. ITS NOT JUST LOGGERS WHO NEEDS THE HELP IN THESE HARD TIMES.

  • ³
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    don from Newfoundland & Labrador, Danny gave them a bailout. Haven't you heard ? Now the sealers are next in line for a bailout it seems (shakes head). After that, it'll be the lobster fishermen, who are in it for the 'long haul' (give them coffee though, and they'll go home).

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I think the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is dreaming if they think Abitibi is going to pay their former workers any severance until they get adequate compensation for the expropriation of their assets in this Province. Danny and his cronies are just trying to hold Abitibi to ransom in an effort to drag out having to compensate the Company for expropriating their assets. The former workers voted themselves out of a job. That wasn't the fault of Abitibi. From the perspective of Abitibi those workers are now the Government of Newfoundland's problem. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland wanted the Abitibi power generation facilities. Like any predator, the Government sat back and waited for Abitibi's economic and labor troubles to worsen before they decided to pounce. Abitibi won't go down without a fight which Danny and his cronies will ultimately lose. The Government of Newfoundland has a reputation for being underhanded and dictatorial. Not a great way to attract investment and business. Abuse of power is the fastest way to destroy the Provincial economy. Biting the hand that feeds you has consequences Danny. If it wasn't for Abitibi-Bowater and the Newfoundland Railway Company, Grand Falls would never have existed. Both Abitibi-Bowater and the Newfoundland Railway Company are gone, someday Grand Falls will be gone too. When that day comes, will Danny feed the people or give them the boot too! I wonder!!!!!

  • Bern
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Minister Skinner contends, AB 'should' pay the workers.
    If our Government had any legal right, they would have said AB shall pay the workers
    But then you're only talking and not saying anything.
    Right, Minister Skinner

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    from NL: Good point. Danny will provide some short term bailouts. Some Stock Market experts predict that oil will drop to $25 a barrel by the end of 2009. If that happens, I think we will see no more bailouts from Danny for anybody. Maybe Danny himself will bail out if that happens!!!

  • Mary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    IT WILL BE VERY SAD NOW NOT TO HEAR THAT NOON AND 5:00 P.M. WHISTLE BLOW EACH DAY. WHAT A SHAME. WHEN THAT WHISTLE WENT, IS WHEN WE KNEW OUR DAD WAS COMING HOME. NICE MEMORY THOUGH!!!!!!

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    If Skinners wants AB to pay severance, pass legislation requiring complanies to pay severance. Don't just expecy them to do it out of the goodness of their bankrupt hearts. The article says Skinner contends AB should pay severance. Good Luck recouping that moula. The have in this province are dole holes. They seem to have everything.

  • SAMUEL
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    WELL I THINKS SEALERS NEED SOME COMPENSATION OUR GOVERMENT CAUSED OUR MARKETS TO GO BY NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT OVER THERE IN EUROPE EVEN WHEN THE SEALS ARE PLENTYFULL. MR WILLIAMS NEEDS TO RECIGNIZE THIS AND STEP UP TO THE PLATE. ITS NOT JUST LOGGERS WHO NEEDS THE HELP IN THESE HARD TIMES.

  • ³
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    don from Newfoundland & Labrador, Danny gave them a bailout. Haven't you heard ? Now the sealers are next in line for a bailout it seems (shakes head). After that, it'll be the lobster fishermen, who are in it for the 'long haul' (give them coffee though, and they'll go home).

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I think the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is dreaming if they think Abitibi is going to pay their former workers any severance until they get adequate compensation for the expropriation of their assets in this Province. Danny and his cronies are just trying to hold Abitibi to ransom in an effort to drag out having to compensate the Company for expropriating their assets. The former workers voted themselves out of a job. That wasn't the fault of Abitibi. From the perspective of Abitibi those workers are now the Government of Newfoundland's problem. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland wanted the Abitibi power generation facilities. Like any predator, the Government sat back and waited for Abitibi's economic and labor troubles to worsen before they decided to pounce. Abitibi won't go down without a fight which Danny and his cronies will ultimately lose. The Government of Newfoundland has a reputation for being underhanded and dictatorial. Not a great way to attract investment and business. Abuse of power is the fastest way to destroy the Provincial economy. Biting the hand that feeds you has consequences Danny. If it wasn't for Abitibi-Bowater and the Newfoundland Railway Company, Grand Falls would never have existed. Both Abitibi-Bowater and the Newfoundland Railway Company are gone, someday Grand Falls will be gone too. When that day comes, will Danny feed the people or give them the boot too! I wonder!!!!!

  • Bern
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Minister Skinner contends, AB 'should' pay the workers.
    If our Government had any legal right, they would have said AB shall pay the workers
    But then you're only talking and not saying anything.
    Right, Minister Skinner

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    from NL: Good point. Danny will provide some short term bailouts. Some Stock Market experts predict that oil will drop to $25 a barrel by the end of 2009. If that happens, I think we will see no more bailouts from Danny for anybody. Maybe Danny himself will bail out if that happens!!!

  • Mary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    IT WILL BE VERY SAD NOW NOT TO HEAR THAT NOON AND 5:00 P.M. WHISTLE BLOW EACH DAY. WHAT A SHAME. WHEN THAT WHISTLE WENT, IS WHEN WE KNEW OUR DAD WAS COMING HOME. NICE MEMORY THOUGH!!!!!!

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    If Skinners wants AB to pay severance, pass legislation requiring complanies to pay severance. Don't just expecy them to do it out of the goodness of their bankrupt hearts. The article says Skinner contends AB should pay severance. Good Luck recouping that moula. The have in this province are dole holes. They seem to have everything.