Workers at Evergreen were given notice that they have no insurance options due to:
"As a result of economic conditions Evergreen Pulp is no longer financially able to support sponsorship of the Health and Welfare programs afforded to employees, dependants, retirees and COBRA participants. As a result, Evergreen Pulp is terminating its group Medical, Dental and Vision plans. With this the option to Buy Back coverage under Evergreen Pulp's group Medical, Dental and Vision plans will terminate at midnight on December 31, 2008 when the group's plan is canceled."
What is COBRA? The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires most employers with group health plans to offer employees the opportunity to continue temporarily their group health care coverage under their employer's plan if their coverage otherwise would cease due to termination, layoff, or other change in employment status (referred to as "qualifying events") How long must COBRA continuation coverage be available to a qualified beneficiary? Up to 18 months for covered employees, as well as their spouses and their dependents, when workers otherwise would lose coverage because of a termination or reduction of hours.
What is going on!?!? I wish there were better communications between Evergreen and the workers. Here are some highlights or low lights, however you want to look at it:
Evergreen Pulp asks for reduction of hourly workforce of 20 workers and union tentatively agreed to concept.
Evergreen Pulp sends out WARN notice and announces shutdown that week.
Evergreen Pulp pays employees monies owed but no WARN act or Labor Agreed severance pay.
Evergreen's Parent company Lee and Man announces the selling of Evergreen to Virgin Island company called "Worthy Pick." Evergreen CEO says Evergreen is just "restructuring" finances publicly.
California Redwood (CR) and other vendors locally put lien on Evergreen assets and Humboldt County Judge Brown hold up shipment of pulp to Lee Kwok. CR claim that Lee Kwok, a subsidiary of Lee and Man owes Evergreen Pulp 20 million dollars that ended up in Lee and Man's coffers. Some agreement financially is met so ship can leave.
Eight hourly workers find out they have no paycheck coming for services rendered. Payroll has lien on by CR per judgment again of Brown. Workers are asked to work on with hopes of being paid the following week. They agreed and worked on, only to not be paid the next week. Walked off job so they could collect unemployment. Management running operational equipment.
$150,000 October Water bill comes due and DG Energy buys $80,000 logs they claim not need to help Evergreen pay the bill. CR pulls lien temporarily to allow transaction to pay the bill and pay hourly workers 3 weeks pay. They are still owed thousands of dollars to this day. Jim Lund assures water board that David Tsang is still CEO and they are in contact with China. (Lee and Man)
Evergreen somehow pays $75,000 amount due on water bill and now is in arrears for November.
Evergreen announces the cancellation of their Group Health Insurance Coverage.