CEP union accepts tentative labor contract at Catalyst Paper's pulp and paper mill in Crofton, British Columbia; competitive labor deals critical to meet creditor conditions

LOS ANGELES , March 19, 2012 () – The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union of Canada Local 1132 on March 15 accepted a tentative labor agreement at Catalyst Paper Corp.’s pulp and paper mill in Crofton, British Columbia, reported 89.7 Sun FM, on March 16.

The Pulp, Paper, and Woodworkers of Canada (PPWC) Local 2 was to vote on a proposed deal on March 16. The PPWC rejected its last tentative deal in January, which was a factor that led Catalyst to file for protection under the Companies Creditor’s Arrangement Act (CCAA), 89.7 SunFM reported.

Catalyst CEO and President Kevin Clarke has said the unions must ratify agreements in order for the company to meet CCAA conditions and be deemed viable by the courts. “It absolutely will require for a competitive labor deal, which is key to this,” Clarke said.

The CEP’s affirmative vote is a step toward Catalyst’s effort to prove to the British Columbia Supreme Court that it has a plan to stay in the pulp and paper industry.

Local 1132 President Fraser McQuarrie said his members can live with the agreement. He said it had only minimal change from the first collective agreement of a few weeks ago. The agreement’s protection of its retirees, which he described as “paramount,” was untouched, he added.

Catalyst is based in Richmond, British Columbia.

The primary source of this article is 89.7 SunFM, Duncan, British Columbia, on March 16, 2012.

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