CEP union files C$11.7M lawsuit against directors of former Fraser Papers; CEP president says legal struggle about fairness for retirees, workers who lost almost 40% of pensions

Kendall Sinclair

Kendall Sinclair

Feb 29, 2012 – CNW

OTTAWA, Ontario , February 29, 2012 (press release) – The Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada has filed legal actions in Quebec Superior Court against the directors of the former Fraser Papers, owned by Brookfield Asset Management.

"Our legal struggle on behalf of the pensioners and workers of Fraser Papers has now begun," says CEP President Dave Coles. "This is about fairness for retirees and workers who lost almost 40% of their pensions. The directors of Fraser Papers must now be held to account."

"We will announce additional legal actions in the coming weeks that address the injustices to our pensioners and members in New Brunswick," adds Coles.

"CEP contends that the directors of Fraser Papers were grossly negligent in their duties to our members," says CEP Quebec Regional Vice-President Renaud Gagné.

"The company took care of its shareholders but pensioners and workers lost their retirement security. We are asking the Quebec court for justice for these retirees and workers."

The suit filed in Quebec Superior Court yesterday for $11.7 million is in response to the investment decisions of the directors of the former Fraser Papers. Fraser Papers was majority-owned by Brookfield Asset Management and operated pulp and paper mills at Thurso, Québec and Edmundston, New Brunswick before the company was restructured under the Companies' Creditors Arrangements Act (CCAA) in 2010.

A majority of Fraser's debt was to its employee pension plan and the restructuring resulted in large cuts to retiree pensions.

The union has also assisted Fraser retirees and family members organize in Quebec and New Brunswick in the "Victims of Brookfield Association" which has a Facebook Page and a Twitter account that tells the personal hardship stories of the Fraser pensioners.

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