Pension Coalition Demands Governments Protect Pensions

April 20, 2009

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CAW Pension Coalition Demand Governments Protect Pensions
CAW Pension Coalition Demand Governments Protect Pensions
dated April 20, 2009

Toronto, Ontario
April 20, 2009

       At a press conference in Toronto April 20, CAW National President Ken Lewenza and representatives from the labour, community and seniors organizations issued a call to both the federal and the Ontario provincial government to protect pensioners and seniors in Canada.

Ken Lewenza
CAW National President

       "We obviously want the Canada Pension and Old Age Security secured. And we want those payments to be above, obviously, poverty levels. And we want them guaranteed, quite frankly, in our charter and our constitution to make sure that they are not jeopardized in any way. And in the province of Ontario, we obviously want the Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund enhanced and we want the Arthur's recommendations on pensions to be implemented sooner than later. It's incredibly important that the government give our pension plans the same priority as they are giving the financial institutions in Canada."

       The Ontario Senior Citizens Coalition's executive director Morris Jesion criticized Premier Dalton McGuinty's suggestion that certain pensions may not be protected by the Ontario Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund.

Morris Jesion
Ontario Senior Citizens Coalition

       "We'd like to congratulate Ontario because they are the only province since 1980 that has promised to support pensioners when a former employer goes bankrupt. The government cannot now abandon the promise during and economic crisis, exactly when retirees need it the most."

       Rob Rainer, executive director of Canada Without Poverty said workers have a right to expect government to save their pensions.

Rob Rainer
Exec. Dir. Canada Without Poverty

       "Working people have the right to retire from their jobs with dignity and security. Now a critical means to up hold this right of course is to build and insure healthy pension plans. Plans which, as the CAW have rightly explained should be understood as deferred contractual compensation payments. Workers have paid into these plans, companies have paid into these plans the plans should never be allowed to lose value. We wouldn't accept it with the Canada Pension Plan and the Quebec Pension Plan."

       A massive rally of thousands of retirees, seniors, labour and community activists will be held in front of Queens Park at noon on April 23rd. Lewenza urged all Canadians to join to fight to protect pensions.

Ken Lewenza
CAW National President

       "Retirees from one end of this country to the other are not the cause of this global financial crisis. They are not the ones that created the problem yet they are the most vulnerable. You can't imagine a 60 year old, a 65 year old or a 70 person that could get a reduction in their pension plan unilaterally by government, going out there and looking for a job in this kind of environment."

Thelma Edwards
Former worker at bankrupt Progressive Moulded Plastics

       "The little I'm going to get for my pension is just chicken feed. So I am here today to see if the government can step in and give us something more or what ever they can do to help us."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

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