Londoners Support NDP Efforts to End Pension Theft

NDP Pensions Critic, Scott Duvall brought his End Pension Theft campaign to London last night when he spoke to a crowd about his campaign to end pension theft in Canada. The meeting, hosted by London Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen, brought out workers and retirees from both the public and private sector who are concerned about their pension benefits.

Townhall Meeting Picture

“Canada’s current bankruptcy laws do not protect workers’ pensions and benefits. Pensions earned by workers are deferred wages, plain and simple. Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal. That’s the reason we’re calling on the Liberal government to fix bankruptcy laws to stop large corporations from putting shareholders, banks, and creditors ahead of their employees when they file for bankruptcy protection,” said Duvall. “For too long, Liberals and Conservatives have been putting well-connected insiders – and the corporations and multinational companies they represent – first, and asking Canadian workers to settle for less. That’s unacceptable.”

Duvall reminded people this isn't a new problem. Sears workers are just the latest in a line that includes former Nortel and Beta Brands employees in London, and Stelco workers in his Hamilton community.

It is a problem the NDP has been fighting to fix since Jack Layton's "Workers First" Bill. The NDP wants to level the playing field for all Canadians and support their retirement security by fixing federal bankruptcy laws so workers’ pensions and health benefits are given the same consideration as secured creditors. Under current legislation, large multinational corporations are using Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and divert it to pay off their secure creditors, who in many cases are often their parent companies. And when it's come down to action in parliament, it's turned out to be a case of "Liberal, Tory, same old story."

“The Liberals campaigned on improving retirement security for Canadians, but have refused to fix the rules that let companies shortchange workers' pension funds. Workers fulfilled their obligations regarding their pension; companies must do the same,” added NDP MP Irene Mathyssen. “These important changes will help build an economy that lifts everyone up, not just the wealthy and well-connected. The NDP will continue to fight for a Canada that works for everyone and will make sure corporations and multinationals can’t steal the pensions their workers and retirees have earned.”