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Posted June 4, 2012


Steelworkers Defend Worker Pensions at Supreme Court

TORONTO - Pensioners must be treated fairly when companies become insolvent, the United Steelworkers (USW) will argue at the Supreme Court of Canada.

"Workers' pensions shouldn't be ignored when a corporation cannot meet its financial obligations and seeks protection from its creditors. The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed with the USW in this case, requiring that $6.75 million be paid into the underfunded pension plans of Indalex's salaried and executive employees. Now the Supreme Court of Canada has a chance to back up that decision. Pensions should be protected in insolvencies and bankruptcies," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

The USW is a respondent in the Supreme Court of Canada case considering the way pension obligations are handled when a company becomes insolvent and gets sold under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The Ontario Court of Appeal found in favour of the USW in the case of Indalex, a Canadian company that went into CCAA protection and made no effort to deal with its pension obligations during restructuring and sale.

"Workers who sacrifice a lifetime of work to their employer shouldn't lose their pensions when the company goes bankrupt. We insure our cars, our homes, even our jobs - why is there no mandatory pension insurance to protect all workers' pensions in Canada?" said Ken Georgetti, Canadian Labour Congress President. The CLC is an intervener in the case. The event will be heard at Supreme Court of Canada, 301 Wellington Street, Ottawa, 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 5

The USW is supporting the CLC's Retirement Security for Everyone campaign. The CLC has garnered widespread support for its plan to phase in a doubling of Canada Pension Plan contributions to strengthen our public pension system and increase the retirement income of all Canadians.

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