ROUYN-NORANDA – Alongside union officials, workers and retirees, this week the NDP announced a plan to introduce legislation that will protect the pensions that workers and retirees are entitled to from being raided by big business and multinationals.

“Workers’ pensions are deferred wages—it is as simple as that. It should be illegal to divert, withhold or seize this money,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “For too long, the Liberals and Conservatives made sure their well-connected friends—and the companies and multinationals they represent—were taken care of first, while asking Canadian workers to settle for less. This is unacceptable to us.”

Currently, big multinational corporations use Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and instead use it to enrich the banks, wealthy investors and very often their foreign parent companies. NDP pensions critic Scott Duvall will be introducing a bill to put workers’ and retirees’ pensions and benefits ahead of secured creditors such as banks and investors.

“The Liberals must set an example and protect pension plans. Workers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Quebec need the security of knowing that companies and multinationals will not be able to steal from their pension funds, like what is currently happening with Sears, which is offering generous executive bonuses while no longer contributing to their pension plans or paying out severance packages and retiree benefits,” said NDP MP Christine Moore.

The Abitibi-Témiscamingue MP pointed out that before being acquired in 2011 by Resolute Forest Products, pulp and paper company Abitibi-Bowater wanted to cut its employee pension benefits by 30%, shocking the company’s workers and 8,000 retirees. “Fortunately, a last-minute agreement was reached in that case, but without legislation, employees will not always be able to rely on the goodwill of large corporations,” said Christine Moore.


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