Halifax, NS – True to his word, Federal NDP Pension critic Scott Duvall is taking his message about stopping legalized theft of workers’ pensions, across the country. Last night in Halifax he told an audience of workers from various unions including the IAM, “The pensions earned by workers are deferred wages, plain and simple,” he explained.
IAM members meet with Scott Duvall in Halifax
Paul Benoit, Gwyen Russell, Ken Russell, Scott Duvall, Paul Gaudet, Chris Snelgrove, Rick Arsenault
Back on Friday September 15th, Duvall announced he would introduce a private member’s bill this fall to protect worker’s pensions when their employer is allowed to restructure their financial affairs under the Company Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). “Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal,” he said. “The current system under the Liberals is broken. They need to stand up for Canadian retirees and stop the organized theft of workers’ pensions. Under the Act, secured creditors, including lenders like banks and debt holders, top the list to get their money back. Workers and their benefits are usually at the end of the end.
Duvall’s Bill proposes to ensure that workers receive the same amount of consideration as the secured creditors when a company files under CCAA. At the Halifax meeting, Duvall unveiled his new FaceBook page, https://www.facebook.com/CCAAWallofshame/
The page lists companies which have filed for CCAA and taken workers’ pensions in the process. As long as the Act is in place, creditors are not allowed to take action to collect monies owed to them. Since 2009, the federal government has granted 286 companies creditors to file under CCAA, including Stelco, which has filed three times in the past decade and most recently Sears Canada. “They do it because they are allowed to get away with it,” explained Duvall. “It’s not the company’s money, it’s the workers’ money and this legalized theft has to stop.”