A cheque higher for 700 retirees and former workers of the mining firm Cliffs

Un chèque plus élevé pour 700 retraités et ex-travailleurs de la minière Cliffs

The pensioners and former workers of the mining firm Cliffs in Quebec, which risked losing millions of dollars when the company was placed under the protection of the Law on arrangements with creditors, will eventually be much less penalised.

The united Steelworkers of america, affiliated with the FTQ, managed to bail out the pension fund a sum of $18 million.

Thus, retirees would see their pension cut by 21 percent, will not be ultimately only a reduction of 8.5 percent, thanks to the efforts made by the union.

The former workers who were not yet retired, for their part, will be the actuarial value of their pension reduced by 10 percent rather than 21 %.

Similarly, retirees will receive an overall sum of $ 10.9 million to compensate for the loss of their insurance plan.

Very satisfied

“It comes full circle. It comes complete with the folder. It is, however, very satisfied with the result. It’s not perfect: when we fly 21 percent of its retirement, and it gets up to 8.5, it’s not perfect… It is quite a steal for $ 400 and gets $ 300, then we were lucky, but in the end, we still lost $ 100”, illustrated by Nicolas Lapierre, coordinator of the united Steelworkers union for the Côte-Nord, Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Gaspé and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Approximately 700 people, in Quebec and Labrador, which will receive a cheque for higher than expected, said Mr Lapierre.

“When you look at the history of estates in bankruptcy or of protection with the creditors, in terms of time, (in the folder of Cliffs) it happened not even four years old… In such a short period of time, they may have been “closer” to the folder and retrieve are also important, it is very satisfied with the outcome,” concluded Mr. Lapierre.

Long battle

The Steelworkers union and the FTQ are conducting a battle for years, especially with members of the House of commons, for the pensioners and former workers are better protected during a bankruptcy of the company or when it is placed under the protection of the Law on arrangements with creditors.

“It’s going to be able to get other situations like this (Cliffs). It will happen to others, it is clear. We will continue to work to improve the prioritization of the deficits of the pension plans, for retirees are considered as priority creditors. In this case, we was able to recover 18 of 28 million $. In others, one does not recover anything. In the case of Cliffs, if, instead of being sixth creditor, to the last row, it had been first, second or third, instead of recovering $ 18 million, we would probably have recovered 20, 22, $ 23 million”, said Mr. Lapierre.

The Steelworkers union has already met with 175 members of parliament to raise awareness of the cause.

Cliffs has more activity in Canada, but is still active in the United States.

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