Brookfield Asset Management challenges lawsuit filed by CEP union for Fraser Paper retirees whose pensions were cut by up to 40% when employer filed for bankruptcy
June 27, 2012
– Fraser Papers retirees from Quebec and New Brunswick, who had their pensions cut by up to 40% when their employer filed for bankruptcy protection, will be at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto on Friday when their former bosses challenge their case.
Directors of Brookfield Asset Management (Fraser's parent company) are challenging a law suit by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada that says the directors of the former Fraser Papers were grossly negligent in their investment decisions. Fraser Papers was 70 percent-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.
"Brookfield Asset Management has repeatedly refused to pay these retirees what they are owed," says CEP President Dave Coles, who will also be at the hearing. "The company took advantage of CCAA laws to take away their hard earned pensions," he says.
Clyde Winchester, president of the Edmundston retirees association formed to fight back against what he calls "corporate pension theft" says "companies should not be allowed to play with corporate laws and take advantage of the most vulnerable."
The Victims of Brookfield Association brings together some 800 retirees each from former Fraser operations in Edmundston and Thurso, Que., who have lost between 30 and 40 per cent of their pensions as a result of moves made under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.