Thursday, May 23, 2024

A.G. Stein Wants the State's Money Back from Pactiv


Here's the thing about government/business partnerships, or rather very generous grants by local governments to entice (or keep) big problem-causing polluters in their communities ... for jobs, of course. At least that's the claim (or dodge) for striking sweetheart deals with big companies that lack ethical moorings.


The sudden closing in 2023 of Pactiv Evergreen, the 115-year-old paper pulp mill in Canton, N.C., that used to be famous as Champion International down in Haywood County, but which had taken a few bad turns and by 1999, had become the property of its workers (as "Blue Ridge Paper") in an employee buyout. That didn't entirely blossom. In 2006 the plant sold again to Evergreen Packaging, or rather merged with Blue Ridge Paper to form Pactiv Evergreen, the entity that pulled the rug in 2023, announcing its imminent closing to some 1,000 workers and a town without a tax base now or possibly a future. 

In late 2014, Gov. Pat McCrory had signed an agreement between the state of North Carolina and Pactiv Evergreen, granting the company $12 million from the state’s Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC), if it kept its total employment at 800, at least through December 31, 2024. That didn't happen. Pactiv put all its workers on the street more than a full year before that deadline.

Attorney General Josh Stein just sued Pactiv on behalf of the state for breach of contract and wants that $12 million back.

"Taxpayers in North Carolina invested in Pactiv Evergreen to bolster our state’s economy,” A.G. Josh Stein said in a release. “We held up our end of the bargain, and we cannot let Pactiv cut and run away with our state’s money."

Stein said he had tried to work with Pactiv, but the company's dump-and-run intransigence led to the lawsuit Stein filed in Wake Superior today

No comments: