Representing over 4500 workers throughout British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
# 326 - 12th Street
New Westminster, B.C. V3M 4H6
Phone # 604-524-9457
Fax # 604-524-0419
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Obviously it has been a very difficult week for all of you and Unifor extends its sympathy and support. Your National Union will do our utmost to represent you throughout this process. Attached you will find the letter from our legal counsel to the trustee.
In the meantime, you can start to pull together your own claim. How much does the Company owe you and what documents do you need to copy to prove that? Once you have that information copied and available, please let myself or Local representative Mark Misic know. We will collect and collate all the claims and pass them along to our lawyer so future creditor lists are correct.
For the moment, your WEPPA application cannot be completed until we move past the proposal stage. It has now been clarified to me the money is not available until this becomes a formal bankruptcy and we are not legally at that point yet. The trustee has to put a proposal to the court after meeting and gaining the support of the creditors and they have 30 days to do so. This is all going to take some time.
Meanwhile, we will continue to post work opportunities as we are notified of them and next Thursday night, January 29 at 6 PM we will have a meeting at the New Westminster Unifor Hall with Service Canada and hopefully Work BC to inform members about EI, work training and where we are in the proposal process. For those of you outside the Lower Mainland, we will provide a phone number to call in so you can listen to the presentation.
Finally, we have heard of some members who are having difficulty accessing their extended health benefits which the Company told us would continue to January 31. We are working on finding a resolve to that and if you have any difficulties please let us know. Throughout this process timely communication will be the key to finding the best possible solution to a terrible situation.
With the weekend the courts and lawyers and the trustees and the agencies all close so first thing Monday morning, we will be back at this and we will provide more updates as new information becomes available.
National Representative Représentante Nationale
Office: 326 – 12th Street, New Westminster, B.C. V3M 4H6
Yesterday (January 21, 2015), The Company called for a 3 pm meeting/conference call for all employees in BC and Alberta to announce the immediate closure of the Company. The Company has filed for bankruptcy and will have all assets sold at auction. Unfortunately for all employees (Union and non-union), they will be likely shorted their last pay cheques due later this week and all accumulated banked hours (which include hours such as vacation pay) will not be paid out. Both the Local and National Union Representatives are meeting with Company representatives beginning this morning at 7 am to obtain the information on how the process will be going forward. The Company notice said: “…Williams has been trading unprofitably for a period of time and has not been able to restructure appropriately in the current economic and competitive environment. Accordingly, all trade and operations will cease as at January 21, 2015.” The Company is filing notice under section 50.4(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Under section 81.3 of the BIA is the Wage Earner Protection Program Act which grants our members a super priority for the first $3000 they are owed in wages and earned vacation. (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/wepp/) This is a very stressful and sickening time for our members and their families who have just found out that their jobs and benefits are gone. Williams Moving and Storage had been in business for 86 years.