Harmac employees purchase mill

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Preserving union jobs in BC pulp mill

[ezcol_1half] In 2008, Sebastien Anderson successfully represented Local 8 of the Pulp, Paper & Woodworkers, and its members along with other excluded and managerial personnel in the BC Supreme Court in the employees’ bid to purchase the mill out of bankruptcy. Chief Justice Brenner was persuaded by Sebastien’s submissions that it was in the public interest to accept the employees’ $13.1 million purchase offer, and to reject the objections of the secured creditors and the Receiver.

The idea for the employees to purchase the pulp mill was masterminded by Gerry Tellier, former President, Local 8 PPWC, Arnie Bercov, former Vice-President, and Bob Smiley, Treasurer, who retained Sebastien to represent the Union in the insolvency proceedings.  [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] Former Chief Justice Donald Brenner [/ezcol_1half_end]

Innovative employee-share arrangement triples in value

Sebastien provided legal advice to the PPWC, Local 8, on how to structure an innovative employee-share purchase arrangement that provided “super-seniority” to employee-shareholders in exchange for the purchase of a $25,000 share. The employee share-purchase was required to raise the money necessary to purchase of the pulp mill. The value of each employee-share now exceeds $70,000 per share.

$5.1 Million settlement paid to unionized employees

Sebastien played an instrumental role on the legal team that subsequently sued the former directors and officers of Pope & Talbot Ltd., for unpaid vacation and other paid leaves. As a result of Tellier’s retirement, Arnie Bercov became the President of Local 8, PPWC. “Arnie Bercov told his members that the Union would not settle for anything less than one-hundred cents on the dollar; it was up to the legal team to fulfill that promise,” Anderson explains. The resulting $5.1 million dollar court-approved settlement provided the former employees with a monetary settlement with 100% of their entitlement, whereas members represented by other unions who were not part of the law suit only recovered thirty cents on the dollar or less.

For further information click here BC’s Worker-Owned Mill Success Story _ The Tyee  and/or Harmac workers can buy mill judge rules.

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