July 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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White Birch retirees will suffer the final defeat

White Birch retirees will suffer the final defeat

The retirees of the Quebec White Birch Paper Mill failed to recover their lost money after renegotiating their pension plan with the Unifor Union.

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday morning did not uphold the final appeal filed by the retired group, which sued the union that defended them.

“It’s a big disappointment,” admitted Gilles Bedard, head of the White Birch Retired Employees Group.

In 2010, White Birch filed for protection under the Lenders Arrangement Act. However, a few months later, an agreement was reached in court to keep the plant open subject to the signing of new collective agreements, including the abandonment of the old pension plan.

After two years of negotiations, White Birch sent out a “final” offer that offered to cancel existing pension plans. The agreement would mean a 30% loss on retirees’ pensions, but would allow current employees to continue their jobs.


Retirees are expected to stay away from negotiations between Unifor and BD White Birch Investment for the resumption of operations at the Stadacona plant.

“We have been ignored by our union,” Mr. Bedard believes, though the courts have ruled otherwise.

The White Birch Retired Employees Group, representing 456 people, has announced $ 68 million in damages against the union.

The Institute Proceedings Motion was quashed by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“If nothing else is done legally, this is political action, according to my Jocelyn Mornesi, who has been defending the retirees for a decade.

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Change the law

There is a hole in the law that the legislature must close to protect retirees.

“Make a law to protect them. We will retire tomorrow, ”the lawyer argued.

Mr Bedard, who retired in 2001, also believes that “this is a debate that should not end, even if it ends up being legal for us.”

Gilles Bedard says he has received a lot of sympathy from politicians, but this is not going to be a concrete move to change the listening law.

The average age at which White Birch retires is 78, and about 150 employees have died since the lawsuit began.

“There is suffering among these people,” Mr. Bedard lamented.