USW Local 1005 position since USSC filed for CCAA back in September 2014 has been;
JOBS, PENSIONS, (OPEBS) Other post-employment benefits.
During the last 20 months we have met with bidders (potential owners), the Province of Ontario, FSCO Financial Services Commission Ontario this is the part of the Provincial Government responsible for defined Benefit Pension Plans in Ontario. We have told them as recently as a week ago our position has not changed JOBS, PENSIONS, OPEBS and that we would like to find a solution that address our priorities.
Lately there have been media reports that there are bidders interested in purchasing Stelco and Algoma and they will not assume “legacy obligations” referring to pension deficits. We will support bidders that take care of our retirees and our active members by paying pensions., OPEBS and preserving all jobs.
USSC latest reports on cash flow forecast which is supported by the monitor overseeing this CCAA process has the company in a position to have 163.8 million in cash as of April 30, 2016. This is the same company that motioned the courts that they could not continue to pay pension payments, OPEBS and property taxes as there was not enough cash in the business as a standalone company separated from its parent USS. Clearly this has not been the case the last 7 months as the cash on hand indicates. Also at the same time the company is to pay out KERP (key employee retention bonuses) amounting to 2.57 million at the end of this month. We would like to have our OPEBS reinstated by the same judge that granted the original motion to temporarily suspend these payments.
We would like to remind all involved that the last time we came out of CCAA, the three hedge funds made 1.2 billion dollars. That money came off our backs. Now again some of the same players want to again make billions. However, they are not interested in our Priorities of JOBS, PENSIONS, OPEBS for retirees.
We have told the Province that we are interested in a bidder that honors our priorities and since the Province allowed our special Pension regulation last CCAA we would hope that they would support us with our choice of bidders.
Currently, Steel prices have been increasing quickly, the orders book at Hamilton and L.E.W. are good. A Local area MP gets it, she told us that the best way to protect Jobs, Pensions, and OBEPS is a viable steel company.
We will continue to meet with any and all bidders to discuss solutions for a successful restructuring that has our JOBS, PENSIONS and OPEBS kept intact.
OPEBs and Pensions are deferred wages that are owed to us.