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CanadaInternationalNewsTrucking

Maple Leaf Motoring: Celadon creditors aren’t ‘screwing the Canadians,’ lawyer says

Lawyers for Celadon and former Hyndman Transport employees argue over whether the U.S. company behaved badly in Canada.

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: Did Celadon behave badly in Canada?; Union continues refinery blockage arrests; and Iranian-Canadian trucker blocked from entering U.S.

Lawyers for Celadon Group and its former Canadian employees offered very different views on how the U.S. company handled the closure of Hyndman Transport and the aftermath during court proceedings in Toronto on Thursday. 

The basic question: Did Celadon behave badly in Canada by terminating nearly 400 employees without notice and waiting more than six weeks to bring its U.S. bankruptcy to a Canadian judge while taking steps to sell off its assets. 

“It’s an abuse of Canada,” Andrew Hatnay, a Toronto labor lawyer representing about 240 former Hyndman personnel, told Ontario Superior Court justice Justice Glenn Hainey.

Edmond Lamek, a Toronto corporate lawyer representing Celadon and Hyndman, offered a different take. 

“To say everyone is out to get Canadian employees, the facts just don’t bear it.,” Lamek said.

By the time of Thursday’s hearing, Celadon agreed to get Canadian recognition of its U.S. bankruptcy and have its Hyndman assets placed into a receivership. It ensures that former Hydnman employees can secure a portion of unpaid compensation from the asset sale proceeds and a federal program. 

While Lamek acknowledged the timing of the proceedings was triggered by pressure from Hatnay and the former employees, he said Celadon had no intention of skirting its legal obligations in Canada or diverting its assets from Hyndman employees.

Hatnay said Lamek was suggesting that “U.S. creditors are screwing the Canadians.”

“That’s not the case,” Lamek said.

Hainey, who presides over complex corporate litigation as part of the court’s Commercial List, was mum on Celadon’s actions in Canada. 

Hainey is deciding whether former Hyndman employees will have legal representation as a trustee liquidates Celadon’s Canadian assets: Hyndman’s headquarters and two terminals. 

Union blockade of Saskatchewan fuel refinery truck traffic continues after arrests

Members of the Unifor union are continuing to block fuel trucks going in and out of the Co-Op Refinery in Saskatchewan despite recent arrests.

Police arrested 14 members of Unifor outside the Regina facility on Jan. 20, including Unifor President Jerry Dias. 

Picketers have been delaying and blocking trucks hauling fuel to and from the refinery in Regina since December following a lockout over a contract dispute. 

Carriers and owner-operators are caught in the middle of the increasingly volatile dispute between Unifor members and the refinery.  

Unifor appears undeterred by the arrests, a fine and an. Union leaders are calling on the federal government to help end the dispute.

Canadian trucker with slain Iranian general’s last name denied entry into the U.S.

A Canadian truck driver was denied entry into the United States after he said border officers questioned him about the last name he shares with assassinated Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, the CBC reported.

Babak Soleimani, of Toronto, told the CBC that he was stopped at the Windsor-Detroit crossing on Jan. 10. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Soleimani had been deemed inadmissible into the United States but provided no reasons, the CBC reported. 

The trucker has the same last name as Qasem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guard general killed in a Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike. Babak Soleimani, who is originally from Iran, told the CBC he isn’t related to the dead general – and has no connections to him.

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Nate Tabak, Border & North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

11 Comments

  1. Quote:

    “Union blockade of Saskatchewan fuel refinery truck traffic continues after arrests”

    Everything this particular Union did in Regina has backfired on them . Among the 14 arrested was their “president” , LOL ! He has to remain 500 meters away from the Refinery , LOL !

    They don’t have the community’s support either . The only positive for the local community is while this dead period for certain businesses such as hotels , the union members that were flown in from around the country are occupants of those hotels and certain restaurants as well as fence for rent businesses due barricading entrances with those rented fences . Those businesses should be thanking the Refinery ,LOL !

    It began with the Union attempting to go on strike after giving the Refinery their notice due a pension plan sticky point . Then the Refinery replied with a lock out , LOL !

    The Union screwed themselves big time in this particular case . It’s one for the history books for sure as to how an organized labour union can be so ignorant and put their members in harms way while goofing in their attempt to win an argument . Usually I would tend to side with a union . However , in this particular case the Union is a complete disgrace . All they have done is lie , bully , intimidate ,and exaggerate , causing mischief , and breaking the law , and they continue to break it even after being fined $100k. If law enforcement were doing their job , there would be union member arrests on a daily bases . Unfortunately the community and fuel hauling truck drivers are being held hostage in this poorly organized labour union retaliation .

    In my humble opinion …………..

    1. UPDATE !

      Quote :
      January 27 2020

      “REGINA — Unifor and representatives from Federated Co-operatives Limited had a private meeting in Saskatoon on Monday.

      According to the union, Federated Co-op CEO Scott Banda met with Unifor president Jerry Dias.
      A representative with the refinery says there were no negotiations at the meeting and both sides just had a discussion.

      The Unifor workers have been locked out for 53 days.
      Unifor hopes this private meeting can lead to ending the dispute, getting a fair deal and getting their members back to work.”

      End quote .

      I believe the Unifor union is going to bend on this one .

      In my humble opinion ……….

  2. Speaking of Canadian Organized Labour Unions , take a wild guess on who else is “unionized” , LOL !

    Quote:
    January 24 2010
    “Dissension in the ranks
    Ontario enforcement officers were sidelined Wednesday, due to a Ministry of Labour investigation into a workplace safety complaint

    TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario highways were left unprotected by Ministry of Transportation enforcement officers for much of yesterday, when officers were ordered to “stand down” while the Ministry of Labour conducted an investigation in response to a safety complaint.

    A tipster informed Trucknews.com yesterday that, “At 1 p.m. all MTO officers were ordered to stand down, leaving the province’s roadways unmonitored.”

    “I understand that truck inspections were temporarily suspended across the province while the Ministry of Labour investigated a health and safety concern,” confirmed Joshua Henry, media relations spokesman with the MTO. “The health and safety of these officers is important. Ministry management cooperated fully with the Ministry of Labour investigation, which is now complete. The investigation found that there were no conditions present that met the criteria for a work refusal. As a result, all employees have returned to work.”

    A transportation enforcement officer (TEO) told Trucknews.com anonymously this morning that further job actions are likely, since officers feel their concerns are being ignored.

    Specifically, TEOs feel they are getting “false returns from criminal checks.”

    Officers submit criminal check requests to the O.P.P., which for some time have all returned as “10-60s”, meaning all clear. The TEO we spoke to said it’s extremely unusual to not get a criminal “hit” at least once every couple of days.

    “We were getting a 10-60 for every driver we were running. We knew something was not right,” the TEO said. The officers conducted their own informal investigation and found they were getting false returns from all O.P.P. communications centers across the province, putting their safety at risk.

    “If a driver is flagged violent, I’m going to approach that truck and that driver differently and it may affect my decision of what level of inspection I’m going to do,” said the TEO, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from MTO management. “If we are not getting that information back, we are putting ourselves at risk.”

    MTO enforcement officers filed a work refusal on Jan. 22, prompting the Ministry of Labour to investigate the workplace complaint. TEOs were pulled off the job yesterday while the Ministry of Labour conducted its investigation, but were then told to return to work while an interim solution is found. They are back on the job today.

    “I’m not satisfied with that decision,” the TEO told us. “A solution should be in place before we go back to work.”

    TEOs are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which can appeal the decision.

    “It’s far from over on our end,” said the TEO. “The only thing we’re trying to win here is our safety. We feel our safety is being compromised.”

    But there are other issues that have created bad blood between MTO management and frontline enforcement officers. The TEO we spoke to said wages have fallen off by about $20,000 per year compared to peers in other provinces. And enforcement officers have seen their numbers drop from about 250-300, to about 160. A recent Auditor General report that was critical of the department did cite dropping enforcement officer numbers, but indicated there were 223 enforcement officers in 2018, down from 287 in 2014, a drop of 19%.

    Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk wrote in her report that the MTO “does not have a long-term strategic plan to identify and hire the number of enforcement officers that may be needed to conduct a sufficient number of roadside inspections.”

    The TEO told Trucknews.com the Ministry is having trouble recruiting new officers, and that there has been an increase in turnover, as wages have stagnated.

    Regarding their safety concerns, Ontario’s enforcement officers had an independent risk assessment done, which was assembled by a former police officer and former Ministry of Labour employee. This report, while not released publicly, highlights safety risks faced by enforcement officers.”

    End quote .

    Thank goodness it wasn’t the opposite . Can you imagine if every driver was flagged violent or to have a criminal record due to a glitch ? Now THAT would have been chaotic !

    In my humble opinion ……..

  3. Trucking association releases mental health guide

    CHECK IT OUT !

    Quote :

    “Employees in industry suffer from ‘loneliness, depression, chronic sleep disturbances and anxiety’

    Keep in mind who has published this and who they REPRESENT !

    If you suffer from some sort of mental anguish , consult your doctor or a psychologist , not HR !

    Think about what’s in the best interest of YOUR bottom line , not the bottom line of the one’s who cause your mental anguish !

    In my humble opinion ………..

  4. Well if Celadon wasn’t trying to screw the Hyndman staff and drivers + owner operators/ lease operator’s then why haven’t they offered or paid out hold back and any escrow accounts. That’s money that’s already been earned and supposed to held in a separate and secure account ? There lawyers make me laugh . That land sale money would’ve been in the US creditors hands within 24 hours I’d bet .

    1. Celadon was trying take money to the U S that belongs to lease ops and other unsecured creditors in Ontario Canada. The Ontario government was told October 16 what was going to happen and lease ops truck drivers and people involved in accidents were being short changed. The truck drivers need better protection.

    1. The fool’s lack of comprehension always misinterprets the wise as foolish . Then the fool begs the wise to be foolish so that the fool can understand the wise .

      I believe DT greatly underestimates your intelligence .

      Quote :
      “posts that nobody can understand or read” .

      I on the other hand believe they(most) “can” read and understand ,,,,,,,,,,,,

      In my humble opinion …………

  5. Furthermore pertaining to Canada :

    Quote:

    “CTA calls for new steps to ease driver shortage

    “CTA highlighted the need to develop plans to attract domestic and foreign workers to our industry

    The trucking industry had the highest job vacancy rate among all Canadian industries, averaging 6.6% per cent in 2018, or more than double the Canadian average, according to a recent labor survey.

    Vacancies for truck drivers have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.”
    End quote .

    LOL ! You can’t base yourself nor use 2018 as a measuring tool to draw your conclusion ! It’s misleading ! 2018 was an “outlier” !

    Go back to your drawing board and find another way in your attempt to keep driver wages low which are currently due to the current glut of drivers, rather than attempting to increase the glut ! The CTA represents MAJOR CARRIER’S DESIRES ! (wink)

    In my humble opinion …………

  6. Boiling point

    Check out the article on Trucknews

    Quote:

    “It is extremely difficult to uphold my inspection quotas in the winter due to snow accumulation and reduced safe roadside locations to pull trucks into, yet, I do obtain my numbers,” a patrol TEO told us. “But I believe I compromise driver and my safety at times in order to maintain my quotas.”

    “Another TEO said “We have been flat out told quality doesn’t matter, just stop and inspect 600 or more because our bonus is attached to total inspections.””

    1. READ THE QUOTE ABOVE ATTENTIVELY !

      IF WE UNITE WE CAN HELP THESE TEO’S AS WELL !

      We can help them meet their “quotas” and help them attain their “bonuses” with ease without putting their safety nor ours in danger !

      Innovation and wisdom can go a long way !

      It’s all about MONEY ! (wink)

      Make a friend and be a friend , increase your power in the process !

      Once you get these TEO’S on your side , it becomes a whole different game ! Guaranteed !

      This is a GAME ! Play it right and you WIN !

      I sympathize with their hardship . Compassion can go a long way !

      In my humble opinion …………

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