Thursday, October 16, 2008

Evergreen Pulp to start in a few months! As a new company. Evergreen Pulp?

Positive News: I have been assured this by Evergreen CEO David Tsang. He said Lee & Man has every intention to re-start the plant in a window of 3 to 6 months into the future. He pointed out the fact that Lee & Man has spent millions in upgrades and have until recently paid their debts orderly. They have a cash flow issue that should be taken care of soon with a change of banks. Local vendors have been paid in full and some partial with what cash flow we have left. We have plenty of customers lined up for the future once our pulp goes from warehouses to customers.

Negative News: Evergreen has a shipment delivery that is being held up with a Temporary Protection Order or lien by local vendors who have not been paid in full. The shipment is estimated to be worth 6 million dollars. The vendors are owed over 2 million and are protecting their interests. Evergreen may also be in violation of the The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and owe 215 workers either 60 days pay or 60 days work. And if this shutdown becomes permanent, Evergreen/Lee & Man owes 800 hours pay per our labor agreement, severance to many hourly employees.

Employee Dilemma: What do you do? If you take advantage of the services available through Humboldt County services and are in a training program to be re-introduced to the workforce in the form of a new job, you will have to make a decision whether to go back to Evergreen, if the Pulp Mill starts in the middle of your training, or try your hand at new vocation. And you have to make that decision right when the Mill starts up! Which Career will you choose? Quick, how will you feed your family and pay the mortgage? Going to be tough for the younger folks.

Insurance Dilemma: As of November 30 (Unless legal counsel find the Warn Act violated.) workers will be out of health insurance and can choose to purchase insurance through COBRA . It is kind of pricey: $558 per month for individuals, $972 per month Employee and Spouse or Employee and Child and $1436 per month per family. So if you receive the max unemployment amount of $1800 a month to live on with a family you have $364 to pay for rent/mortgage and food. That dear friends, is a reality check. Now you can search for a independent insurance carrier to bridge that gap while you are uninsured, but they must meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements of proof of insurance, so there is no unlap of insurance on workers with pre-existing conditions so they can be put back on Evergreen's insurance roles. I have been actively searching insurance carriers to meet these requirements more cost effective.

Employee Information: I have had many calls from workers and employees coming up to me asking questions. I have been shocked to hear how many keep track of things through this blog. So let me cover some easy questions to answer concerning unemployment paperwork: You are represented by the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers local 49. Phone number for the local is 442-2289. Evergreen's address is #1 TCF Drive, PO Box 218 Samoa Ca 95564. Feel free to call me with any questions at 445-3432. I am not working you know!

Upsate: Pulp Mill Dumped. Pulp mill company sold, CEO says move is to refinance. I hope this all is good news.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

COBRA is such a joke. Talk about forcing people to play Russian Roullete. And good luck applying for the private insurance. By the time you get settled in to it the mill will be reopened. The dark underbelly of the American system is exposed. This in a country which spends more per GDP on health than anywhere else. Fuck.

Anonymous said...

Or you could just follow the Republican solution and get a job at the flower bulb farm or mcdonald's.

You are free to choose other employment. Its the free market republican way.

You are free to starve. It is the free market. It is the republican way.

If you find yourself broke, hungry and homeless it is your fault because you "chose" to work at the pulp mill. You could have "chosen" another career.

Gotta love these republicans.

Yes vote for Jager. He will tip you a quarter when he lets you shine his shoes.

Anonymous said...

Or you could just follow the Republican solution and get a job at the flower bulb farm or mcdonald's.

You are free to choose other employment. Its the free market republican way.

You are free to starve. It is the free market. It is the republican way.

If you find yourself broke, hungry and homeless it is your fault because you "chose" to work at the pulp mill. You could have "chosen" another career.

Gotta love these republicans.

Yes vote for Jager. He will tip you a quarter when he lets you shine his shoes.

Anonymous said...

Bill, there you go again.

It's all the Republican's fault. NOT.

Anonymous said...

The global financial crisis is a direct result of 25 years of Republican Reaganomic deregulation that has led to the biggest theft in human history.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Bill,

Take off your tinfoil hat and take a deep breath.

Anonymous said...

PULP MILL SOLD!!!!!!!

wooxen said...

It appears that David Tsang wasn't totally up front with you Richard. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Chris Crawford said...

Although there is still plenty of uncertainty, it does appear that EP will go through a change of ownership for the purpose of better access to credit.

I sure hope this works out, for all the workers affected by this closure and for the community as a whole.

Not A Native said...

Did David Tsang say who are the principals of the new owner, "Worthy Pick Group"? The TS article quoted him as implying they are the principals of Lee and Mann.

Clearly, no one here understands what is really going on and what it will take for the mill to make money and continue.

Mike Buettner said...

QuamNews: L&M Paper Sells US Paper Pulp Making Biz at HK$200 Mln
17 Oct 2008
QuamNews

Lee & Man Paper (2314) said it disposed the entire interest in USLM Acquisition, Inc. and HKLM Acquisition, Inc, (”USLM & HKLM”) at a consideration of HK$200 million.

USLM & HKLM were paper pulp manufacturers in the USA. The gain from the transaction was estimated at about HK$1 million and the consideration was decided based on the net book value of the assets of USLM & HKLM. The transaction was completed on 15 October.

Raymond Lee, CEO of Lee & Man Paper, said, “The profit margins of USLM & HKLM have been dwindling significantly because of the continuing increasingly production cost in USA. With what’s best for long-term development of the group in mind and the pulp line in Chongqing plant has started production, we decided it is the right time to dispose of the business. The move has freed resources for us to concentrate on growing our containerboard and pulp businesses in China with lower production costs.”

Anonymous said...

If they ever re-open the mill, it will be after the current agreement expires in June 2009, dontcha think?

A little downtime is a great negotiation tool. They did ask for a 15% reduction in wages didn't they?

They will probably pressure for reductions in environmental restrictions too. That is if they are serious about reopening.



I guess you guys didn't take the hint.

Mike Buettner said...

Lee & Man sells USLM & HKLM.

USLM & HKLM own Evergreen Pulp.

Lee & Man says the deal is because “…continuing increasingly production cost in USA… we decided it is the right time to dispose of the business.”

USLM & HKLM is sold to newly incorporated Worthy Pick Group Limited.

Worthy Pick Group Limited is new devision of Lee & Man (according to today's ER).

Anonymous said...

I wonder if those high paying jobs will be not so high paying if the mill is ever to reopen? How much skill and knowledge is required of the various operators?

Can't imagine that driving a forklift at the mill is any more demanding than driving one at Sun Valley bulb farm. Or operating the pulp machines is more challenging than working in a meat packing plant. Hmmmm...

Rambo said...

"Can't imagine that driving a forklift at the mill is any more demanding than driving one at Sun Valley bulb farm. Or operating the pulp machines is more challenging than working in a meat packing plant."

Looks like you have not done both, probably not either. I have and in both cases and yes the loads on a forklift in a mill are ALOT differant than a lug of bulbs and the same goes for the machinery. Lets see, machines that sort little bulbs and clean them, or ones that strip bark off of trees and chew them up into little bits. Wonder which one is more dangerous and more apt to cause serious injury or death? Which in turn would than be a higher wage and skill job. 10:34pm, Dude your a F*&King idiot.

Anonymous said...

If the mill ever reopens, it will be after the contract expires.

You will then be allowed to "apply" for positions.

They will be for less than half what is paid now. Benefit clocks will start at zero, if there are any benefits. All seniority will disappear. This has happened all over the United States in the last 6 years. Are you asleep?

Where are the signs and picket lines? Your life is cutting and running. YOU HAVE BEEN SOLD DOWN THE RIVER!

YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE IF YOU REMEMBER WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A REAL UNION AGAIN.

Carson Park Ranger said...

"The global financial crisis is a direct result of 25 years of Republican Reaganomic deregulation that has led to the biggest theft in human history."

This disaster is a product of the "bipartisan cooperation" that so many candidates invoke as something to strive for.

Not A Native said...

If the plant reopens within 6 months, the WARN provisions don't apply. But there are other exceptions to WARN, especially those that have to do with unforseeable business circumstances. I'd assume the provisions of the union agreement apply to the new owner.

According to a Lee and Man disclosure statement posted Thursday, the Evergreen transaction was a "spin off" of a money losing subsidiary.

It was sold for "book value". Thats a ridiculously low value for a viable company sale. The buyers are not connected to Lee and Man. Now, Evergreen will get to stand on its own, for better or worse.

This seems to be the plant's recent history. Buy, invest money, experience operating losses, sell.

The buyers put down only 10%($2.6M) of the price with the remainder to be paid in quarterly $3.9M payments. Those are generous terms and with no interest. I can assume only that the new owners intend to operate the plant, not liquidate it. But at this point it would seem they may have a viable option of liquidation, depending upon the marketability of the equipment and property.

Mike Buettner said...

So when Evergreen CEO David Tsang said:

“What the parent company, Lee and Man, have done is restructured Evergreen Pulp under a new division."

He didn't mean it was still part of Lee & Man?

Not A Native said...

David Tsang can speak for himself but it's clear that Evergreen is no longer associated with Lee and Man.

This is from the Lee and Man disclosure:

"the Purchaser - to the best of the Directors' knowledge,
information and belief having made all reasonable enquiries,
the Purchaser and its ultimate beneficial owners are third
parties independent of the Company and Connected Persons of
the Company."

Anonymous said...

Lying sacks of shit

Anonymous said...

Yes, David Tsang looked you right in the eyes and lied to you.

Do you really think that this is a "restructuring?"

Sorry. Start practicin' your telemarketing skills. Sell some credit cards over the phone. Good honest work.

David Tsang has spoken. Are you listening?

Not A Native said...

It seems to me that if the union workers and local administrative types believe they could operate the mill at a profit, this is an excellent time to try to collaboratively work with the owners to share the risks and profits.

If the owners really are all new people, at least there aren't any personality conflicts to get in the way of making a plan that gets the plant opened sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

How come you guys aren't marching through Eureka with signs and chants?

Why aren't you demanding answers?

Why aren't you picketing Mike Thompson, Patty Berg, Mayor Bass, the County Supervisors and the Chamber of Commerce or anyone else you think appropriate?

Do you think that UNION JOBS ARE SAVED BY SITTING ON YOUR ASS?

Anonymous said...

just like most of you pulp mill workers. You're living a pipe dream that the mill will open up. just like the out fall line it's plugged tight.