OSHAWA — For most working people, ending mandatory retirement creates a risk that employers will continue their attacks on long-established pension benefits while introducing tests to decide if workers of any age are fit to do their jobs, says CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan.
“The McGuinty Liberals are tackling the wrong issue,” Ryan said from the CAW Local 222 retirees’ picnic where he is speaking today. “Ordinary workers, like those here who have seen production lines speeding up, are demanding to get out of their jobs sooner with better pensions.”
Real choice about retirement will only exist when workers have a strong and comprehensive retirement system with improvements to Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits, increases to provincial low-income supplements, full indexation and improved survivor benefits, recognition of international credentials, decent minimum labour standards and pay equity to ensure that retirement income is adequate, Ryan said.
“Ending mandatory retirement creates risks for workers of all ages,” he said. “There have already been noises at the federal level about raising the eligibility age for CPP to 70. And, younger workers in their 50s and early 60s should be asking what the effect will be on them of the ‘bona fide occupational requirements’ provision in this government’s legislation.”
The BFOR rule raises the spectre of all employees having to prove that they are physically and intellectually able to continue performing their jobs.
“Minister Bentley and others keep raising the issue of workers who cannot afford to retire either because they have earned low incomes or do not have pension plans,” Ryan said, noting that only 40% of Canadian workers are covered by a workplace plan. “Those are serious issues that have to be addressed in a real way. Ending mandatory retirement doesn’t do it.”
For more information, contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-299-9739 ext 264; 416-616-6142 (cell)