Steel Mills

Is it Debt or Equity? US Steel Canada Supporters Still Waiting for Decision

Written by Sandy Williams

US Steel Canada supporters have been waiting a month for a decision by Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel on whether former parent company, US Steel, is owed $2 billion dollars debt or if that amount is an equity investment.

Court hearings on the matter ended January 27 with a promise of a decision within two weeks. Trevor Harris, Director, Government and Public Affairs at US Steel Canada said in an email “At this time, we have heard nothing from the Court regarding a ruling on the USS debt claim, nor are we aware of any specific timeline the judge is following.”

Follow the closure of hearings, USW local 8682 president Bill Ferguson said in a You Tube update:

“Was it debt or equity? It is our position it was all equity. It is the money that was forwarded to us to run our operation efficiently and is part of the parent’s job. We also talked about contracts going out, going down the road. If the court decides they are going to assign money to US steel, there is still a second objection. The second objection is corporate conduct during this period. We will be bringing forward all the behaviors. Now that was not included in this; it was a straight academic exercise and one of the first in Canada: How does the parent company become a creditor? So it is going to be an interesting decision. But it is not over.”

In a Feb. 26 update Ferguson noted that there have been some concerns regarding the judge’s decision. “This will be a long litigation regardless of what the judge comes out and says. It is a big decision.” Litigation is likely to go on for quite some time he said.

Letters of interest for the sales and solicitation process are due to the monitor by Feb. 29. The union has been involved in discussions with prospective buyers on why they want to buy the mills and how they want to run them. Due diligence inspections at the mills are expected at the facilities as interested buyers look over the US Steel Canada assets.

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