THUNDER BAY – MP Bruce Hyer is offering his support to approximately 750 area workers impacted by today’s announcement that two Buchanan mills in the area have been placed into receivership, and two more into the hands of a bankruptcy trustee.
“I was disappointed to hear that Buchanan Northern Hardwoods and Great West Timber have been placed under a bankruptcy trustee today, at the same time that Northern Sawmills and Atikokan Forest Products are being placed in receivership.” said Hyer “This impacts local workers more than anyone else. Forest sector workers and their families have borne the brunt of shutdowns across the region for many years.”
Former workers at the four mills are reportedly owed over $9 million in unpaid severance and termination pay, but the chances of receiving money owed has diminished significantly with today’s announcements. Since Hyer’s constituency office opened, it has been busy assisting laid-off local workers access programs like the Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP). WEPP reimburses eligible workers for unpaid wages, vacation pay, severance pay and termination pay they are owed when their employer declares bankruptcy or becomes subject to a receivership, to a maximum of about $3,400.
“My office is open to help the workers who have lost much of their hope of getting their severance and termination pay, or of their workplaces re-opening.” offered the Thunder Bay-Superior North Member of Parliament. “We’ve been informed that at some mills workers are owed an average of $25,000 each …that’s a lot for a family to be out. While government programs might only cover a portion of the money owed, I encourage workers to contact my office to access whatever assistance is out there for them”.
Hyer committed to continue his efforts to support colleague John Rafferty’s Bill C-501, a workplace pension reform bill before Parliament that will protect workplace pensions, severance and termination pay when a company goes bankrupt.
Constituency Office: (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), 69 N. Court Street
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