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Potential Port Alice buyer packs it in


December 6, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A rejected offer has sent Richard Bassett walking, the CBC reported. By 57%, members of the Communications, Energy …

A rejected offer has sent Richard Bassett walking, the CBC reported. By 57%, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union voted against the offer that would have reinstated their jobs. This in turn prompted Bassett, the businessman behind the proposal to reopen the Port Alice pulp mill, to turn away from the project.

According to the CBC, Neucel Specialty Cellulose, a group of U.S.-based investors, had been trying to purchase the mill, and appeared to be making headway. Just last week, the company secured the commitment of the provincial government to foot the bill for the cleaning up of pollution at the site. However, the company failed to persuade millworkers to accept the new contract, which involved rollbacks on pensions and seniority. The CBC reported CEP union officials as saying that accepting the contract would have frozen their existing pension plan, discarded seniority and cut back on the amount the company proffers for health and welfare benefits.

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The CBC further reported the 57% rejection vote is causing tension in the Port Alice community. No other buyer has indicated an interest in the mill.


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