Government of Ontario & Bedrock Industries Group Sign MOU to Facilitate Restructuring of U. S. Steel Canada Inc.
Advances Process to Save Jobs, Industry and Pensions in Hamilton and at Lake Erie
The government of Ontario and Bedrock Industries Group (Bedrock) today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the restructuring of U.S. Steel Canada Inc. (USSC), which remains in court-supervised creditor protection proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The MOU is an important step toward the completion of a restructuring intended to protect jobs, the ongoing operations at USSC's Hamilton and Lake Erie facilities, pensions and post-employment benefits for active and retired USSC employees. In reaching this MOU, the province has worked closely with the court-appointed monitor and kept other stakeholders informed throughout the process.
The terms of the MOU remain confidential until they can be released pursuant to a court process. For its part, Ontario has agreed to a framework to support an acquisition proposal from Bedrock intended to protect pensions and assist in providing post-employment benefits. The province has also agreed to support the development of industrial lands on behalf of pensioners in an effort to promote the economic development of the Hamilton region while ensuring that the environment continues to be protected. In taking these actions, the province seeks to facilitate economic progress while minimizing financial risk for the public treasury.
Bedrock's principals have a long track record of owning and successfully operating businesses in the metals, mining and manufacturing and distribution sectors worldwide including in Canada. Bedrock has been committed to working with all stakeholders, including organized labour, salaried workers, government and the affected communities, in order to provide well-paying long-term jobs and benefits as well as pursuing continuous improvement and ongoing financial strength. The MOU and the contemplated restructuring remain subject to many conditions, including acceptance by USSC, ratified collective bargaining agreements with United Steelworkers Union Locals, agreements with certain stakeholders, government approvals and the approval of the Court supervising USSC's CCAA proceeding.
“We have been working with the company and other affected parties through the CCAA process to support the best possible outcome for employees, pension members and other stakeholders under these challenging circumstances. This MOU helps us to move forward on the Province’s priorities such as preserving jobs, protecting pensions and the environment while developing the industrial lands. We are hopeful that this will clear the way for a restructuring process that results in a viable, healthy company that supports continued operations in Ontario and in local economies.”
“The MOU is an important milestone in our efforts to restructure the former Stelco operations of USSC. We look forward to continuing to pursue the completion of these efforts with all relevant stakeholders.”