Second vote expected on pension proposal for Kruger's Corner Brook newsprint mill in Newfoundland, following recent workers' vote against plan that would allow company 10 years to restructure pension liabilities

LOS ANGELES , June 5, 2012 () – Kruger Inc.’s Corner Brook newsprint mill in Newfoundland faces an uncertain future after workers in mid-May voted against a proposal that would have allowed the company 10 years, rather than five, to restructure its pension plan liabilities, CBC News reported June 5.

A recent meeting between mill owner Joseph Kruger and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale did not lead to a move toward saving the mill.

But Dunderdale said she expects that there will be a second vote on the pension-restructuring plan.

Non-union workers and retired union workers had favored the pension-restructuring proposal. But 54.3% of current union workers voted against it, thus calling the mill’s future into question.

Those opposed did so because of a clause that could have reduced their pensions, said Bruce Randell, president of Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union Local 242.

Workers would want to vote a second time on a repayment extension, provided that the rules were changed to protect the value of employees’ pensions, Randell added.

According to Newfoundland and Labrador law, a minimum of two-thirds of the members in each of the four voting groups must support the proposal in order for it to pass, Kruger said.

It was after the unionized workers turned down the proposal that the mill’s owners said they were reviewing whether it would be possible to keep operating it.

The primary source of this article is CBC News Toronto, Ontario, on June 5, 2012.

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