·  STATEMENT   ·  

Judgment Reached in Case Between USW Local 2009 versus Ghag

The United Steelworkers are pleased with the recent Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling from Justice Macintosh in the case between USW Local 2009 and Sonny Ghag. The case has been ongoing for over 17 years. 

On the night of December 16, 2003, Sonny Ghag, president of Local 1-3567, led about 200 members of Local 1-3567 of the International Woodworkers Union (IWA), to the site of Mainland Sawmills in Vancouver. A different IWA local represented the workers at the Mainland site. The court found Sonny to be the ringleader that night in causing the members of Local 1-3567 to shut down operations at the Mainland site, with intimidation and violence against the Mainland workers. 

On January 8, 2004, Sonny and his family fraudulently conveyed several properties, for which Sonny held the legal title and a beneficial interest, and transferred share interests, in order to avoid claims Sonny anticipated against him by Mainland Sawmills.  

Mainland Sawmills sued the local and obtained judgment against it, and others, for the harms caused on December 16, 2003, including the shutdown of operations and tortious interference. 

Justice Macintosh has upheld that the transfers from Sonny in January 2004 were fraudulent conveyances. 

Sonny was found to indemnify the union $437,706.21 plus post-judgment interest for his 40% share of responsibility for the disruptions. Sonny will also be responsible for the union’s legal costs.

It should be noted that Local 1-3567 was put under administration in July 2005 after the Mainland incident and prior to any court hearings. During administration, after the return of the local to the membership, and through the mergers of Local 2952 and Local 1-3567 into USW Local 2009, all of the local union officers, along with the district and the International were committed to seeing this challenge through.

“I am very pleased with the judgment from Justice Macintosh, as it brings justice from all the injustices in this incident,” said Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada. “We won on all accounts and the ruling from the Supreme Court brings us one step closer to full and final justice. The union will now focus its efforts on pursuing their monetary award.”

Brian Harder, Manjit Sidhu and Earl Graham were instrumental in helping the district and the union in our pursuit of justice.

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For further information:

Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-816-2554, shunt@usw.ca 

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