Toronto Turns a Deaf Ear to CAW Pension Campaign

June 8, 2006

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Toronto Turns A Deaf Ear To CAW Pension Campaign
Toronto Turns A Deaf Ear To CAW Pension Campaign
dated June 8 2006

Toronto, Ontario
June 8, 2006

       After months of trying to get the CAW Pension Charter before a committee of Toronto City Council, the Canadian Auto Workers delegation was denied the right to speak at the last minute. CAW national rep Jenny Ahn refused to be muzzled by city politicians.

Jenny Ahn
CAW National Rep.

       "This is the third committee that we have now been pushed off to, first it was policy and finance, then we got shoved off to the round table on seniors; and by the way all we want is a pension plan for our retirees, voters and citizens who contribute to this society and I thought that City hall would be in favour of looking after the retirees of this city, so we are very disappointed this morning."

       Community Service committee chair, Joe Mihevc told the delegation he was literally out-voted by the committee.

Joe Mihevc
Community Services Chair Toronto City Councilor

       "It's my authority as chair to put you on the agenda. They challenged that authority and for me to win the authority I had to win it and it was a tie vote."

       Sharon Attisano of CAW Local 673 said what the councilors refused to even consider was this simple message.

Sharon Attisano
CAW Local 673

       "We were asking them to endorse our pension charter which guarantees pensions for people who are working for companies that may go bankrupt, to help immigrants who do not get a full pension benefit when they retire. They can't afford to retire. They live in poverty. A lot of older people right now are living in poverty, especially older women."

       The CAW delegation including Sherry Hillman of CAW local 112 and Caroline Lavoie of Local 2002 feel that this rejection shows just how important it is to get involved in municipal politics.

Sherry Hillman
CAW Local 112

       "Our campaign is to convince the politicians and policy makers that we need to increase those benefits so that all Canadians can afford to retire and have a life style that allows them some dignity and security."

Caroline Lavoie
CAW Local 2002

       "When you try to address a committee and you are met with councilors who have been elected who are not progressive or open to /or listening to their supporters, their voters, their citizens then it shows just how important it is to get involved in making sure that we have progressive councilors elected and get involved in politics."

       The delegation is even more determined now to get the CAW Charter of Pension rights in front of the Toronto City Council, even if it means going directly to City Council.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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