Unions, pensioners meet on estimated C$60M liability in pension plan at Kruger's newsprint mill in Corner Brook, Newfoundland; company wants 10 years to pay back shortfall; union official says mill has to run to make the payments

LOS ANGELES , March 26, 2012 () –

Talks were held with the unions and pensioners involved in an underfunded pension plan at Kruger Inc.’s newsprint mill in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, on March 23, reported CBC News on March 24.

The Montreal-based company wants 10 years to pay back the shortfall, which some estimated could be as much as C$60 million, but it needs a two-thirds majority vote of approval from the unions and the pensioners.

Current and past workers at the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. mill were informed about details of the pension plan at the March 23 meeting, and more meetings will be held before a vote is held, CBC News reported.

The union is not taking a stand on how its members should vote on the proposed 10-year payment plan, but there are worries that not authorizing more time might pressure the mill to close.

For Kruger to be able to make the payments “the mill has to continue to run,” said Bruce Randell, president of the union, reported CBC News.

At the March 23 meeting were Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy and Finance Minister Tom Marshall, who represents a Corner Brook district.

The province will not add money to the pension plan, but it is in support of “a long-term sustainability plan” for the mill and for funding the pensions, said Kennedy, CBC News reported.

The primary source of this article is CBC News, Toronto, Ontario, on March 24, 2012.


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