Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If It Were Only The Rich


A number of folks I know, some of whom visit this site occasionally, don't understand why I've been making such a big deal about the coming trial of Mr. Conrad Black.

After all, they say, if it's true what he did, well, isn't it just one more example of the rich stealing from the rich.

To which I say, hmmmmmm..........

And then, if I can get them to listen to another rant, I mention that it's not just the monied rich who have found themselves on the receiving end of one of Mr. Black's oft-repeated rapier-like recoupments of resourses that he considers to be his righteous recompense.

One of the most egregious examples of which is the Dominon Stores pension fund incident from the 1980's.

Essentially, this was a situation wherein Mr. Black decided that a pension fund 'surplus' belonged not to the people that worked for one of the companies that his holding company held*, but rather to, well, him.

Here's the story from the Union local that fought for years to get (some?) of the money back:

Local 414 (of the CAW) has a proud and colourful history, the original Charter dates back to 1945, as a Provincial Local representing in the early days primarily Dominion Stores. The Local has gone through some rough and tumultuous times over the past 58 years. We presently have over 14, 000 members.

Years were spent battling with Conrad Black as he dismantled the Dominion Stores. At that time Dominion Stores Limited were the most profitable, highest volume Company in the Canadian grocery industry. Other changes we had to deal with were the practice of franchising grocery stores. Many of our No Frills Stores, Valumart Stores and Food Basics stores are franchised today.

We fought with Conrad Black for several years to recover pension monies that were owing to Local 4l4 members who worked in the Dominion Stores. As of today, $46 million dollars has been recovered and divided among the qualified active and retired members that worked at Dominion Stores who were entitled to pensions.

So, if things happen to go Patrick Fitzgerald's way during the coming trial I'll be cheering not just for the fat-cat stockholders of Hollinger International but also for all the little people who found themselves caught in the good Lord's crosshairs over the years as well.


*And the story of how the good Lord came to acquire that holding company that owned Dominion stores at the time is an interesting example of righteous recompense in and of itself. But perhaps we'll save that one for another day.
The Star has a succinct, yet relatively complete, timeline of the good Lord's career up today on this, Fitzmas Eve, The Second.


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