The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ex-mill worker in B.C. accused in fatal shooting may get severance

  • Print

NANAIMO, B.C. - A man charged in a mass shooting at a Vancouver Island sawmill where he was laid off six years ago may now be entitled to severance pay as part of a settlement involving a group of former workers.

Kevin Addison, 47, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after a shooting at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo on April 30. The company has said the suspect in the shooting was a former employee.

Former co-workers have said Addison was among roughly 160 workers laid off from the downtown sawmill in 2008, most of whom were not hired back when the facility reopened in 2010, setting off a long-running labour dispute over severance. The case also involves more than 100 workers at another mill on the outskirts of the city, which was shut down in 2009 and also later reopened with a fraction of the staff.

The labour dispute ended last week, when an arbitration settlement worth $1.2 million was reached between Western Forest Products and its union, United Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

The money will be divided between qualifying employees from the two mills, said union business agent Chris Cinkant.

Cinkant said it's too early to say whether Addison will qualify for severance. He said the union will now begin the process of creating a list of qualified employees.

"It'll take a little while in case anyone has slipped through the cracks or that kind of thing," Cinkant said.

"People have moved on here and there so we need to find them. ... This should provide some closure for all those who have been waiting and wondering whether or not they're going to get money."

Western Forest Products plant chairman Michael Lunn, 62, and supervisor Fred McEachern, 53, were both shot dead, while supervisor Earl Kelly and vice-president of manufacturing Tony Sudar were wounded.

Lunn was a union steward who attended hearings when the United Steelworkers took the company to court in 2011 over allegations that were described as "severance pay avoidance."

A labour arbitrator ruled in favour of the company in 2012, prompting the union to launch an appeal.

The process was delayed further when the arbitrator fell ill.

Cinkant said the union and the company recently agreed to end the dispute by allowing a mediator to decide how much money should be paid out.

Mediator John McConchie issued a binding report that said $1.2 million will be divided proportionally, based on years of service, to eligible employees who were on seniority lists at the time of the mill closures.

"We were hopeful for more money, of course, but at the end of the day this is best for everybody," Cinkant said.

"This has gone on now for what seems like forever, especially to those affected. People are frustrated. I'm just happy it's all finally over."

Western Forest Products spokeswoman Amy Spencer said the company is also relieved "and we're looking forward to moving ahead."

Meanwhile, Addison has made several appearances in Nanaimo provincial court.

His next court date is set for Sept 2.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Chief Clunis denies link between internal sexual-harassment investigation and Tina Fontaine case

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who will you vote for in Wednesday's mayoral race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google