Neucel Specialty Cellulose allegedly sent its remaining workers home with no written notice.
514 Union President Don Vye spoke to the North Island Gazette in a phone interview this morning, stating that all the union employees still working at the pulp mill received layoff notices Feb. 27.
“All I know is they were sent home yesterday afternoon,” said Vye, who added it was rather sudden because he was at the site in the morning talking to the Vice-President of Human Resources, Warren Beatty, “and he mentioned nothing about it.”
According to Vye, the workers stated they received no written notice. “There was a fella who showed up here from China and everyone was sent home,” he said.
Vye added he would have more details after he meets with the company later today.
Neucel Specialty Cellulose makes up 70 per cent of the community’s tax base and is owned by the Canadian arm of a Chinese company called Fulida. The mill still hasn’t paid its taxes, which were due back in July of 2018, totalling around a million dollars.
The mill’s property is the same as any other property when it comes to unpaid taxes.
If the taxes continue to go unpaid, then the current taxes become arrears the following year. If the arrears continue to go unpaid, then they become delinquent the next year. Properties with unpaid delinquent taxes are then sold at a tax sale on the last Monday of September.
Back in February 2015, the Neucel Specialty Cellulose mill in Port Alice, BC went into a production curtailment following three consecutive years of unfavourable pulp prices, combined with the high cost of oil, energy energy consumption and operating chemicals, as well as an unfavourable low US/CAN$ exchange rate.
The mill has remained in curtailment ever since.