Despite a request by the United Steelworkers, a bankruptcy court has refused to delay a hearing that is set for tomorrow.
Local 10-05 president Gary Howe says the union will appear before the judge to request that U.S. Steel Canada resume paying benefits for its retirees.
The union hoped to use a delay to get a clearer picture of the company’s true financial situation.
U.S. Steel Canada reaffirmed its stance that it can not afford to pay pensioners the health benefits they were promised.
Despite sitting on more than $130 million, the company’s chief restructuring officer, Bill Aziz says their efforts to find a buyer have reached a “critical phase”.
The Hamilton Spectator reports that in an affidavit filed ahead of a court hearing Wednesday, Aziz says if the company is forced to start paying those benefits again it could default on its emergency line of credit.
Workers have taken issue with the pay raises given to salaried employees, while retirees wait for payments they were promised.
Aziz stands to earn a $1 million bonus if he succeeds in restructuring the former Stelco.
According to The Spec, the benefits would cost U.S. Steel Canada about $3.6 million a month.
The company pleaded for relief from those costs last year and the payments were suspended under a court order.