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Stephenville workers to forfeit severance pay


October 31, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

As the Stephenville mill slipped into idle status on October 28th, Abitibi Consolidated employees had another worry…

As the Stephenville mill slipped into idle status on October 28th, Abitibi Consolidated employees had another worry to add to their lists.

The CBC recently reported that workers who elected to take on another job to make ends meet while waiting for a decision on the Stephenville mill may be forced to forfeit their severance pay.

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Although the company has confirmed a possibility of reopening the mill within the next few weeks, some workers have had to secure employment elsewhere in the meantime. Had the mill closed permanently, workers would have been entitled to substantial severance checks, but as it stands now, the uncertainty of the situation has made the paying out of golden parachutes an impossibility.

The CBC reported on the case of Bob Manuel, an Abitibi employee of 24 years who plans on relocating to Alberta to accept a position with an energy company. According to the CBC, had the mill officially closed its doors, he would have been paid $40,000 in discontinuance wages. However, if the conditions accepted by the union aren’t acceptable to him and he was forced to move and stay away, the sacrifice of his severance check implies the loss of 36 weeks of pay. “That’s something I can’t live with,” the CBC reported him as saying.


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