The Federal NDP Convention passed an emergency resolution committing to take legislative action to protect workers’ pensions. The resolution was submitted by the Labour Caucus and resolved that the NDP use its role as Canada’s official Opposition to respond to recent attacks on the pension plans of workers at Canada Post and Air Canada.
CUPE submitted the initial resolution, which was unanimously endorsed by the Labour Caucus, approved by the Resolutions Committee, and passed by delegates on Sunday.
Here is the text of the resolution:
E-04-11 Resolution on Protecting Workers’ Pensions
Submitted by the Labour Caucus
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the New Democratic Party will immediately respond to the recent attacks on the pension plans of workers at Canada Post, Air Canada and other employers by using its parliamentary position to protect workers’ pensions by advancing a legislative agenda for the federal jurisdiction that:
Provides for more flexible solvency funding rules under the federal
Pension Benefits Standards Act, subject to the consent of plan members and/or their unions;
Prohibits the adoption of pension plan amendments which replace secure
defined benefits with insecure defined contribution provisions for newly hired workers or future service;
Prohibits the employer practice of using pension surpluses to take
destabilizing contribution holidays; and
Raises the status of pension and disability payment obligations in the
event of an employer bankruptcy so that all such promises to workers are a higher priority than banks and creditors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NDP will work with trade unions, the women’s movement, and retiree group allies to actively oppose further attacks on workplace pension plans by employers in the federal jurisdiction and across the economy.
The recent attack on workers’ pensions is a gross violation of a 45-year covenant whereby working Canadians would have access to retirement security through the Canada Pension Plan, workplace pension benefits and personal savings.