After refusing to accept substandard pensions for future generations, laboratory professionals and clerical staff at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) will be on legal strike at 12:01 a.m., Monday, November 18.
The 275 workers, members of Local 967 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 967), overwhelmingly rejected CSA’s last offer, rejecting a two-tier pension system that would force future employees into having so-called ‘defined contribution’ plans.
“CSA’s CEO has boasted that the organization is now a ‘cash machine,’ yet it’s demanding future generations of workers would be condemned to retire with inadequate pensions,” said CUPE National Representative David Gwilt.
“Our members were very clear last week – we will not sell out future generations’ retirements, and will strike for the future,” he added.
Despite being a ‘not-for-profit’ organization that certifies consumer products entering the Canadian market are safe to use, CSA realized net earnings of $15 million last year. Chief Executive Officer Ash Sahi told the Globe and Mail newspaper CSA was a ‘cash machine’ earlier this year.
Last week, at CSA’s insistence, Local 967’s bargaining committee presented members with CSA’s last offer, which included the two-tier pension proposal for new hires.
“Our members are a vital component of CSA’s success. That success shouldn’t be on the backs of future generations’ retirements. It’s time for CSA to get serious about negotiating a fair settlement,” said Paul Benson, President of CUPE 967.
He added that Local 967’s bargaining committee is available to bargain at a moment’s notice between now until the Monday deadline.
CUPE 967 represents 275 laboratory professionals and clerical staff at CSA’s Corporate Head Office in Rexdale and at CSA’s Mississauga location.
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