June 23, 2016
Navistar issues update
Below you will find updates concerning both the Arbitration process that deals with severance, which has been the focus of our discussion with Navistar Corporation, and the outstanding pension matters. We realize that many members are anxious to see a conclusion to both these issue. Unfortunately, the time frames for both the severance and pension issues have taken longer than expected.
At this point in time, we are awaiting responses from both the Navistar Corporation and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) we will continue our attempts to report to the membership as relevant and accurate information is received by the union.
We thank you again for your patience and support.
A grievance has been filed on behalf of Locals 127 and 35 and all affected workers contesting the Company’s position regarding the entitlement of workers on the June 30, 2009 union seniority lists to severance pay. A response from the Company is due shortly. If the response is unsatisfactory, as is anticipated, the matter will be referred to arbitration. The Union has already suggested to the Company the name (s) of a proposed arbitrator to hear the case.
Navistar’s actuary, Morneau Sheppell, filed a partial windup report of the Navistar Non-Contributory Retirement Plan with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in late April, 2016. The partial wind up report is currently undergoing review at FSCO. Unifor and its actuary have reviewed the report. Once FSCO has provided comments and questions, Morneau Sheppell will respond with answers, clarifications and, potentially, modifications. Once FSCO is satisfied the partial wind up report has been prepared in accordance with the Pension Benefits Act and Regulations, the report will receive approval from FSCO. We will keep you updated on developments as they unfold on this website.
April 27, 2016
Closure document and pension update - Local 35, 127
As everyone is acutely aware, the National Union has been working with the Navistar Bargaining Committees, Locals 35 and 127 plant and office, in our attempts to reach an agreement on both a closure document and the pension matters.
Since 2009, when the plant was idled, and following the closure in July of 2011 and moving forward to today we have been demanding that the corporation provide a decent closure package, and adhere to their pension and severance obligations for the workers at Navistar.
Over the past number of months we have continued to stay in contact with the corporation in order to finalize the outstanding issues. The corporation refused to bargain any settlement until the pension issues were finalized. The corporation absolutely refused to provide any additional severance above the law. In addition the Company has refused to provide severance pay to any worker who the Company considers to be eligible for an "unreduced" pension. The Union has a significant difference with the Company with respect to who falls into the category of workers disentitled to severance pay under the law due to the pension the worker is entitled to receive. The Company goes so far as to say that even if a worker is only entitled to an "unreduced" pension on a grow in basis, many months or years after he or she is terminated, he or she is still not entitled to severance pay. This became another critical issue that had to be dealt with. The corporation also consistently, until very recently, refused to agree to an arbitration process to settle the severance issue.
Over the last number of weeks we notified the corporation that unless they agreed to arbitrate the severance issue, that our Union would go back to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) and argue that the OLRB should appoint an Arbitrator to decide the severance issue. The attached document includes an Appendix A in which the corporation has agreed to commence the arbitration procedure on the outstanding matter of the severance within 30 days of signing this agreement. Following a significant amount of dialog and discussion with the National Union and the Bargaining Committees, we have signed the agreement in order to move forward and finalize the outstanding issue of the severance pay entitlement. We have consistently demanded that the corporation provide enhanced severance above the law. They have absolutely refused to provide more than one week for each year of service.
For your information, the National Union included Lewis Gottheil, Legal Counsel, Jeff Wareham, Pensions and Benefits, Jim Mitchell, National Representative and former Assistant to the President Bob Chernecki. The bargaining committees at local 35 and local 127 are Cathy Baker-Wiebenga, Doug Wright and Joe Lucier.
In addition, remaining directly involved in this case are former National President Ken Lewenza. National President Jerry Dias and National Secretary Treasurer Peter Kennedy have provided continued support.
Sisters and brothers we have exhausted every avenue available to us in order to provide a closure agreement that respects the many years of service of Navistar workers. We have argued your case at the Financial Services Commission (FSCO), in front of the Financial Services Tribunal and at the Divisional Court and at the Labour Board. We have worked with FSCO to ensure that the workers’ pensions were enhanced, and Navistar fought us at every turn. We want to thank the membership for their support and patience during this difficult fight with this corporation.
And while the fight over severance pay continues, the result of our long-fought battle over your pension entitlements is a victory – for Navistar workers, and for other workers in the province of Ontario who lose their jobs to corporate restructuring. Under the order issued by the Superintendent of Pensions, members whose age plus years of service totaling 55 points or more as of the partial wind up date will be entitled to receive, or grow-into, a Special Early Retirement (SER) pension under the plan, if this pension is a more valuable option. The SER consists of a lifetime basic pension and a temporary pension payable to age 65, and is payable without the usual significant early retirement reductions contained in article 2.02 of the pension plan (there may be a reduction that applies depending on individual circumstances). This enhanced pension (the SER) will be to payable to members in the partial wind up group who have 55 points of more as of the wind date (July 28, 2011) once members meet the eligibility criteria for the SER (age 55 and at least 10 years of credited service).
There are other pension enhancements that were won on your behalf as a result of the pension battle. We are expecting that the pension partial wind up report will be filed with FSCO by Navistar on April 23rd. Once submitted, this will be reviewed by the National Union and the Bargaining Committees Local 35 and 127 to ensure that the document reflects the law in Ontario and the principles outlined by the Superintendent of Pensions, the Pension Tribunal and the Ontario Divisional Court.
In addition, we are in the process of selecting an Arbitrator to hear and rule upon the severance entitlement issue; we will provide an update once we have an Arbitrator selected and set the dates for arbitration. According to our Legal Counsel we are looking at about 2 days of Arbitration so we will move this along as quickly as possible.
Once we have concluded the process and have all the required information we will be scheduling a joint meeting of Navistar members Locals 35 and 127 in Chatham to provide a complete overview of both the closure document and pension and severance issues. Updated reports will continue to be provided on our website.
March 16, 2016
FSCO extends wind up report deadlines
Please find below correspondence from FSCO to Navistar.
March 2, 2016
Below you will find two documents that deal specifically with pension matters Morneau and Navistar have requested and extension to the deadline dealing with the partial windup of the plan. We are adamant in our position that there should be no extension.
FSCO is currently reviewing this matter and we will update the website once there is a position taken by FSCO on this issue.
January 6, 2016
Please click here to see the final order of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario dated December 23 2015 which brings the pension wind up legal case to a close. The order directs Navistar to take certain important steps in the wind up of the pension plan within 60 days of December 23 2015.
Unifor will now await the results of the above order, we will continue to post notices on this website. There was a tremendous amount of work that went into defending Navistar workers’ rights and we remain committed to ensure that the affected workers receive their full and complete entitlements.
December 21, 2015
On December 21 2015, after taking great care in its deliberations, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Navistar’s motion for permission to appeal the July 3, 2015 decision of the Ontario Divisional Court upholding the ruling of the Financial Services Tribunal of Ontario (the FST) on the issues arising from the partial windup of the Navistar DB pension plan.
As a reminder, on July 11, 2014, the FST issued a decision, supporting in full the position of the union with respect to the partial windup of the DB pension plan, and supported the union’s position on all outstanding issues – including member entitlements - related to the partial wind up. This dismissal by the Court of Appeal will now trigger the issuance of an Order from the Superintendent of Financial Services (the Superintendent) that will order Navistar to begin the process of partially winding up the DB pension plan, including preparing and filing a partial windup report with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).
- The partial wind up report must be prepared in accordance with the terms of the Order issued by the Superintendent.
- It is normal in these circumstances for the Superintendent to include a deadline - typically 60 days from the date of the Order - for Navistar to file the partial windup report.
- Failure by Navistar to file the report can result in FSCO prosecuting Navistar for failure to comply.
The Union will continue to support former members’ during this process, including providing any assistance it can to the FSCO in order to bring this process to a close as quickly as possible. The union has, and will continue, to make its resources available to the FSCO and will review the partial windup report once available and provide feedback to the FSCO and Navistar on the report. Once the report has been approved and a partial windup ordered by the Superintendent, settlement of member’s pension entitlements will begin.
The matter of severance pay, including entitlement of workers who will receive statutory improvements under the Pensions Benefit Act as a result of the partial wind up, and related closure issues, remains outstanding. This favourable ruling from the Court on the issue of pension plan wind up does not resolve the issue of severance pay. The corporation has consistently refused to address, in a reasonable way, the issue of severance entitlement and severance pay. The corporation remains unwilling to provide a fair and equitable closure agreement.
November 10, 2015
As you will recall Navistar filed an application with the Ontario Court of Appeal to seek permission of that Court to make an appeal of the Divisional Court decision that was released last July. We still await the result of that application for permission. The moment we receive it , and have had a chance to review it, we will post it on this web site.
Your Union is as frustrated as you and your co-workers about the length of time it has taken to resolve the pension wind up issues. The Union is committed to continuing this fight on behalf of all affected Navistar workers/retirees.
We remain hopeful that the Court of Appeal will not grant leave or permission to Navistar to initiate an appeal. If the Court of Appeal declines Navistar's request, then the favourable decision of the Superintendent of Pensions as adopted and expanded by the Financial Services Tribunal will be final and binding
September 1, 2015
NAVISTAR TRIES TO APPEAL DIVISIONAL COURT DECISION
Navistar is attempting to appeal the recent decision of the Divisional Court which dismissed Navistar’s appeal of pension decisions made by the Financial Services Tribunal. All three judges of the Divisional Court supported the union’s position and upheld the original decision of the Superintendent of Financial Service.
Below you will find the legal argument filed by Navistar.
In order to be able to appeal this well-considered decision, Navistar must first get permission from the Ontario Court of Appeal. We remain confident that this application for permission to appeal will be dismissed by the Court of Appeal and we expect a decision on that matter in early October. The union is now preparing the necessary documents to defend our position. We will continue to communicate through the website.
To view the argument filed by Navistar click here
To view the union's submission click here
July 21, 2015
This update advises that Navistar Canada Inc has filed a written motion with the Ontario Court of Appeal seeking the permission of that Court to appeal the ruling made on July 3 2015 by the Divisional Court dismissing the Company's appeal from the pension plan wind up decision of the Financial Services Tribunal.
If you would like to read the Company's notice of motion please click here.
There will be further written submissions filed by the parties over the next two months or so and then the Court of Appeal will let the parties know if the Company has permission to appeal.
July 7, 2015
Ontario Court Dismisses Navistar Challenge
The Divisional Court has dismissed the appeal of Navistar Canada Inc. in a twelve page unanimous ruling of a panel of three judges.
The Court upheld all of the favourable findings of the Financial Services Tribunal, made in its decisions of October 2013 and July 2014 that were challenged by Navistar.
The Court confirmed that there should be a broadly based group of workers who are entitled to participate in the windup of the pension plan. Specifically the Court endorsed the conclusion that all workers who terminated their employment, for whatever reason, between February 1, 2009 and up to and including July 28, 2011 (the date of plant closure) should be in the wind up group. This means that all such workers in the wind up group who had attained the age of 55 and had at least 10 years of credited service will be entitled to at least a special early retirement benefit as of the date of their respective retirements. Further any worker in the wind up group with at least 55 points based on combined age and service at the time of their termination of employment will be able to "grow into" a special early retirement benefit.
The Court also determined that all laid off and or disabled workers should obtain a supplementary 0.9 year of credited service under section 7.03 (b) (iii) of the union pension plan.
It should be underlined that this ruling is not necessarily the end of the road regarding these pension plan issues. The company has the right to apply for permission to appeal the decision of the Divisional Court to the Ontario Court of Appeal. That application for permission to appeal must be made in writing within 15 days of the date of the ruling. The ruling was issued on July 3 2015. In effect we will know by July 20 2015 or perhaps earlier if the Company intends to try to appeal this latest positive ruling.
Further it should be noted that this ruling does not and was not intended to deal with the outstanding issue of severance pay entitlement, particularly for those worker/members who have been found to be entitled to participate in the wind up group. We will continue to challenge the corporation in demanding a fair and equitable closure agreement.
The Company has refused to make a fair and equitable offer to complete a closure agreement as long as these pension plan wind up issues are being prolonged, by the Company's very own actions. Our union, Unifor and Locals 127 and 35 remain committed to insuring that justice is done for the benefit of all members affected by the conduct of the Company.
Navistar workers have been through an in creditably challenging time and it’s only through your continued support and solidarity that we’re able to challenge this corporation. The bargaining committees of Locals 35 and 127 and our legal department headed by Lewis Gottheil and the staff also deserve and enormous amount of credit for their hard work.
We thank you for your continued support and will continue to keep you informed as matters unfold.
If you would like to read the entire decision please click HERE.
April 15, 2015
Court Appeal Update
This is to advise that the Company appeal of the favourable pension wind up ruling issued by the Financial Services Tribunal was heard by a panel of three Judges of the Divisional Court on Thursday, April 9 2015. The hearing lasted all day. Counsel for the Company addressed the Court in the morning. Counsel for the Union (Lewis Gottheil) made submissions in reply in the afternoon. The Court has reserved it's decision. It is unknown exactly when the Court will publish it's ruling. We will immediately advise of any news by way of this web page, when a ruling is issued. Thank you for your continued support and attention to this.
March 18, 2015
Ontario Labour Relations Board Decision
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has released its decision in Unifor’s unfair labour practices application against Navistar. That application sought a determination that Navistar employees’ severance pay claims be settled by an independent arbitrator. The union complained that by refusing to agree to arbitration of those claims, Navistar was failing to make reasonable efforts to conclude a collective agreement and that is bad faith bargaining.
The Board has declined to order that the issue be sent to arbitration. The Board decided that it was not unreasonable for Navistar to refuse to agree to arbitration of severance pay claims while some other issues remain to be bargained.
While this is a disappointing decision, Unifor will continue to seek resolution of the severance pay issues and other important issues for Navistar employees.
March 2, 2015
Report on Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) Hearings
As previously reported, Unifor has filed a complaint at the OLRB against Navistar. That complaint deals with employees’ severance pay entitlements. Navistar repeatedly refused to pay severance pay to employees whose pension entitlements may be affected by Navistar’s appeal of pension decisions of the Financial Services Tribunal (“FST”). The FST supported the position of the union in an earlier case decided by the Pension Plans Branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
On February 27th, 2015 we completed the hearing of the union’s complaint at the OLRB. We will now await the written decision of the Board on our right to force Navistar to have an arbitration hearing on the outstanding severance pay issues.
Below you will find a document that was filed at the hearing called “Statement of Agreed Facts”. This document provided the OLRB with a condensed version of hundreds of pages of documents summited by both Unifor and Navistar. We will provide the final decision of the OLRB when it is received.
Appearances by Unifor at the Board included: Anthony Dale and Lewis Gottheil, Legal Department, Cathy Wiebenga Local 127, Doug Wright Local 127, Joe Lucier Local 35. Unifor staff included: Jeff Wareham, Jim Mitchell and Bob Chernecki.
January 15, 2015
Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing
As previously reported, Unifor submitted a complaint against Navistar to the Labour Relations Board. A hearing was held on January 14th to allow the parties to make oral submissions in argument regarding the complaint. The parties were not able to complete the hearing. The Chair of the Board has scheduled hearing dates for February 27th and if necessary, March 9th. These Board hearings will be held in Toronto.
Unifor Legal Counsel presented our case yesterday. We do expect to have this hearing completed on February 27th and we will report the final decision of the Board once it is received by the Union.
The charges by Unifor against Navistar deal with the corporation’s refusal to bargain in good faith principally with respect to the matter of severance and transition pay. The Union says the company has failed to take reasonable steps to conclude a closure agreement.
Pension matters – Court
As previously reported, Navistar appealed the decision of the Financial Services Tribunal to the Ontario Courts, and this hearing dealing only with pension matters is scheduled to be heard April 9th, 2015 in Toronto.
January 7, 2015
Fiscal Appeal Update
Please find below the material developed by our legal department concerning the above matter.
January 5, 2015
This is to advise that the Divisional Court of Ontario has fixed a day for the hearing of the Company's appeal of the favourable pension decision from the Financial Services Tribunal. The hearing is set for April 9, 2015 in Toronto. The notice of hearing may be viewed by clicking here.
November 26, 2014
As previously reported we attended a hearing before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) on Friday, November 21, 2014 in Toronto.
The hearing concerned the Union’s complaint of bad faith bargaining against Navistar.
The day began with Navistar making a motion to have the union’s complaint dismissed forthwith, without any inquiry into the evidence. Part way through the company’s argument the Chair of the OLRB intervened and invited representatives of both sides to have an off the record discussion.
That discussion occurred. In the end the union and company agreed to return to the OLRB on January 14, 2015 to have a full one day argument based on an agreed statement of facts. This arrangement will expedite these proceedings.
The focus of the union’s complaint is on the company’s unreasonable failure to make proper efforts to resolve the outstanding issues in the closure talks, namely severance and related compensation. The union seeks an arbitration process to settle the issue of severance pay entitlement forthwith.
On a related note, we advise that we have received notice that the company appeal against the favourable pension wind-up ruling obtained by the union is likely to beard by the Divisional Court in February or March 2015.
The hearing was attended by the Director of the Legal Department Lewis Gottheil, Ken Lewenza former National President, Cathy Wiebenga former Chair of Local 127, Joe Lucier Committeeperson Local 35, Doug Wright former Committeeperson Local 127, Jeff Wareham retired National Representative of Pensions and Benefits and Bob Chernecki former Assistant to the President.
We will continue to report through this website as we move this process.
The company has consistently failed to meet fair standards of conduct in its dealings with the workers represented by Unifor and Locals 127 and 35.
The workers at Navistar will continue to have our full support.
November 6, 2014
Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing
As previously reported we have resubmitted our challenge at the board against Navistar, below you will find notification from the OLRB, as it describes the hearing is November 21, 2014 at 930 we will report following the hearing.
October 17, 2014
Unifor submission to the Ontario Labour Relations Board
This is to advise our Navistar membership that he corporation once again has failed miserably to address the key issues. Please find below our submission materials that have been forwarded to the Ontario Labour Relations Board requesting a hearing.
Update September 3rd meeting – Navistar
As we recently reported to you, Unifor and Navistar agreed to adjourn the OLRB hearing scheduled for September 3rd on a without prejudice basis. The reason for the adjournment was that Navistar had indicated in their submission to the OLRB that they were prepared to submit the issue of entitlement to pay severance pay to arbitration. The company has continued to refuse to pay severance to all members pending the outcome of their appeal of the ruling on the pension issues by the Financial Services Tribunal.
The company and union agreed to hold a meeting in place of the OLRB hearing on September 3rd. The meeting was attended on behalf of the union by Unifor Chief Counsel Lewis Gottheil and others. Following three hours of discussion and debate it was clear that the corporation was not prepared to agree to resolve a number of issues. As a result Unifor will continue to challenge the corporation on the severance issues through the OLRB process.
To say this is disappointing would be an understatement! Copies of the union’s filings with the OLRB will be posted on the website once they have been filed.
September 3, 2014
The hearing of the Union’s unfair labour practice complaint at the Ontario Labour Relations Board against Navistar set for today September 3, 2014 has been adjourned “sine die” on a without prejudice basis. An adjournment “sine die” means either party (the union or the company) can ask at any time that the matter be brought back for hearing. In its response to the Union’s complaint to the OLRB, Navistar made clear its agreement to arbitrate differences concerning entitlement to ESA severance pay. This addressed a key issue in the Union’s complaint. There will be a meeting in Oakville between representatives of the Union and Navistar today September 3, 2014 to review other outstanding matters concerning severance and related compensation.
August 13, 2014
Navistar has appealed the favourable decision of the Financial Services Tribunal (FST) issued on July 11, 2014, and posted here, under the message below.
In that July 11, 2014 ruling, the FST made several findings which supported the interests of union hourly and salaried members of the Navistar defined benefit pension plan. First, the FST expanded the group of workers who would benefit from the plan windup enhancements, to include plan members who ceased to be employed as of February 1, 2009.
The FST also directed that all laid off plan members should be provided a supplementary 0.9 years of credited service, regardless of whether they returned to work, after their layoff (and we know, of course, that workers laid off by notices commencing in November 2008 did not return to work).
The FST ruling also declared that plan members whose age and service added together equaled 55 points or more on July 28, 2011 could “grow into” the special unreduced early retirement benefit set out in Section 1.03 of the pension plan.
Navistar has challenged all of these findings and seeks to overturn them.
The company’s notice of appeal may be read by clicking here.
The company’s notice argues that the FST erred when the FST made the findings set out above.
The company’s notice argues that the Tribunal made such a serious factual error in considering the evidence before it regarding the future of the Chatham plant, that the whole FST decision should be overturned. Navistar also says that the 0.9 supplement regarding credited service should be taken away because in previous layoffs past members were not granted such an entitlement.
Finally, Navistar argues that the FST erred when it made a procedural ruling about the authority of the FST and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (the body that regulates pensions in Chatham) to even consider the issue of the 0.9 credit service supplement.
The union contests each and every point raised by Navistar. The union will be a party to the appeal hearing and will defend every aspect of the ruling of the FST relevant to the interests of union plan members.
The union will be filing a notice in the Divisional Court confirming its participation in the appeal forthwith.
Now that Navistar has filed its Notice of Appeal, the company must order a copy of the transcript of the oral evidence that was heard by the FST.
Once the evidence has been transcribed, the company has 60 days within which to prepare and file its written material with respect to its appeal. Then, the union and the Superintendent of Pensions (who are allied in interest general speaking in this particular case) have 60 days to prepare and file their respective written material. Once the company’s written material is filed, the Registrar of the Court will put the case on a list of cases to be heard. While it is difficult to predict when the case will be argued in Court, current timelines suggest that the case will be heard in the second quarter of 2015.
To view the full July 11, 2014 decision please click here
July 29, 2014
The hearing of the Unfair labour practice application will take place in the "Board Room", 2nd Floor, 505 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2014, at 9:30 A.M. We will continue to update this website with the latest information.
To view the full notice of hearing please click here
July 11, 2014
Financial Services Tribunal Dismisses Navistar Appeal
Please find attached the full decision of the tribunal which not only dismisses the appeal of the corporation but provides an excellent decision in favour of the workers which includes the .9 credited service issue.
We will continue to maintain communications with the membership on the decision of the tribunal. A great deal of credit goes to the National Unifor staff and bargaining committees of Local 127 and Local 35. Brother Lewis Gottheil director of the Legal Department deserves special recognition in this victory.
The National President Jerry Dias and National Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy have applauded the decision of the tribunal and remain committed to provide the full resources of the union to the workers of Navistar.
Either party has the right to appeal to the courts in Ontario.
To view the full decision please click here
June 11, 2014
Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) - Navistar's Response to Union's Submission
Below, please find the corporations written response to the OLRB. We are awaiting dates to appear before the Board and will continue to keep the website updated.
Click the following link to download the complete response: response_june_2014.pdf
May 28, 2014
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has confirmed receipt of the Union’s Unfair Labour Practice Complaint against Navistar. The OLRB has appointed a Labour Relations Officer named Fernando DaSilva as a Settlement Officer. The OLRB has directed Mr. DaSilva to set up a settlement meeting involving the Union and the Company which will likely occur at the offices of the OLRB in Toronto. The Company must file a written reply to the Union’s complaint by June 4, 2014. We will keep this website updated as developments occur.
May 22, 2014
Ontario Labour Relations Board – Navistar
Click here to see the full application filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board against Navistar. In this pleading your union submits that the company continues to refuse to bargain in good faith a closure agreement. As we have indicated in previous communications to the membership we are determined to use every available process to ensure Navistar members get justice against this employer. There is absolutely no reason that this company cannot finalize a decent and fair closure agreement. We will keep the membership informed through the website on the status of these charges.
We want to once again compliment the bargaining committee of both Locals 127 and 35 as they remain committed to working with National Staff and the Legal Department, their input has been invaluable.
In addition, the national officers President, Jerry Dias and Secretary Treasurer, Peter Kennedy continue to fully support all the actions that we are taking to assist the membership.
Pension Tribunal Decision
As previously reported the pension issues that are outstanding are waiting a final decision of the Financial Services Tribunal Panel. We are expecting a written decision in the near future. We remain confident that a decision will be made in favour of the pension wind up entitlements as submitted by the union and the deputy superintendent of pensions.
April 17, 2014
FST Hearings – Navistar Appeal with respect to Superintendent’s decision
Hearings before the Financial Services Tribunal, held on April 11, 14-16, 2014 are now completed. There was a significant amount of evidence put before the Tribunal. We believe that the Tribunal will support the original decision of the Acting Superintendent. You will recall there were four outstanding issues pertaining to the partial wind-up of the workers’ pension plan. The decision of the Superintendent supported the union’s position regarding these issues and the company appealed, which caused a long delay and the hearings noted above.
Given the amount of evidence put forward by the parties, we do not expect a decision until at least the later part of May or early June. This estimate is also based upon the final comments made by the Chair of the Tribunal.
We will post the written decision of the Tribunal once it is received. Once again we thank the membership for their patience and support. As stated previously your union will continue to protect the rights of workers and their pension plan at Navistar.
As a footnote Navistar still refuses to negotiate a fair and reasonable closure agreement. The union will be taking further steps in this matter to continue to challenge Navistar, and find a resolution to all outstanding closure issues.
April 10, 2014
Navistar FST Hearings
As previously reported; the hearings dealing with the outstanding pension matters between Unifor (formerly CAW) and Navistar will commence Friday, April 11 and continue on April 14, 15, 16, 2014. The hearings will be conducted at the Financial Services Tribunal offices in Toronto. Lewis Gottheil, Chief Legal Counsel and members of the bargaining committee from Local 127, Local 35 and national staff will be attending the hearings.
We are hopeful that a decision by the Tribunal will be forth coming by late May early June. Please note there will be a significant amount of evidence and testimony put before the Tribunal and it will take time for the Tribunal to review all the material. Counsel for the Superintendent of Pensions will also participate in the hearings and support the original decision of FSCO which was favourable to the members of the Plan.
We will communicate the decision of the Tribunal once it is released.
FEBRUARY 11, 2014
Readers of this web page will recall that late last spring a Superior Court of Justice Judge dismissed our proposed class action law suit on jurisdictional grounds. We appealed this ruling to the Ontario Court of Appeal. That Court of Appeal hearing occurred last Friday morning (February 7, 2014).
We asserted three main arguments to the Court of Appeal, just as we did last year to the lower Court. We argued first that there was a statutory right to severance pay that can be litigated in the Superior Court by individual employees of Navistar. We asserted as well that individual employees can rely on certain terms of their expired agreement which pertain to their individual terms and conditions of employment IF the employer takes no step to amend those terms and conditions of employment after expiry. We also argued that AFTER a collective agreement expires the law does and should hold that a worker can only be terminated from employment if that worker is given reasonable notice, mainly because the worker’s binding right of recall and just cause protection has evaporated while the parties are in a lawful strike or lockout position.
The Court of Appeal rejected our submissions and dismissed our appeal. The Court gave oral reasons which are available on this website. The reasons themselves are very concise. The Court of Appeal stated that it essentially agreed with the ruling that the Motion Judge provided. The Motion Judge basically stated that he was not persuaded that individual employees can bring individual claims for compensation on the grounds of an individual contract or relationship with the employer as long as their collective bargaining agent has bargaining rights and is bargaining with the employer over the same issues.
There are no plans to seek leave to appeal this matter to the Supreme Court of Canada. Please continue to consult this webpage for further information regarding our efforts to bring about a fair and reasonable resolution to all closure issues connected to the Navistar facility in Chatham.
To read the complete decision please click here
FEBRUARY 10, 2014
This is to report that our appeal of the dismissal of the proposed class action for compensation arising out of the closure of the Navistar Chatham facility was heard by a panel of three Justices of the Court of Appeal on Friday, February 7, 2014. Our appeal was dismissed. The Court of Appeal panel stated that they agreed substantially with the reasons of the Motion Court Judge who dismissed the matter. The Court of Appeal did underline that the dismissal of the action was jurisdictional or procedural in nature. In other words, the Court did not and was not ruling on the issue of entitlement to severance pay or any other kind of compensation. The Court of Appeal simply ruled that the Court below, the Superior Court of Justice did not have jurisdiction over our claim as written.
The Local and National Union leadership representatives are considering together the next steps, as we continue to strive to bring a fair and reasonable resolution to all of the outstanding closure issues which pertain to the membership.
February 6, 2014
Our members will recall that individual local union representatives launched a class action law suit against Navistar arising out of the circumstances of the closure of the facility in Chatham in July 2011, and the resulting terminations of employment. That law suit was dismissed by a Motions Judge last year. However, the Union, (formerly CAW Canada, now Unifor) has supported an appeal of that dismissal. The appeal hearing will take place on Friday February 7 2014 at the Osgoode Hall Court House in Toronto, ( corner University Avenue and Queen Street), commencing on or after 10 o’clock.
We will of course advise the membership, through this web site, of the decision of the Court. Lewis Gottheil and Anthony Dale of the Unifor Legal Department will represent the appellants.”
January 29, 2014
This is to advise that we have finally received confirmation of date form FSCO regarding the outstanding pension matters before the tribunal. The hearing dates are as follows.
April 11, 14, 15 and 16, 2014;
April 28, 2014 as being held in reserve
Despite our best efforts these dates are confirmed we would have wanted them earlier but it is not in our control, the tribunal dictates the dates. We will continue to update the membership as information becomes available.
Navistar refuses to bargain a closure agreement with the union until the pension matters have been decided by the tribunal these hearings deal with the company's appeal following the decision of the superintendent of pensions you will recall that the superintendent of pensions decision did support the unions submission.
December 11, 2013
To read the Hon. Charles Sousa Minister of Finance's response to National President Jerry Dias's letter regarding the delay in the Navistar tribunal hearing please click here.
December 6, 2013
FSCO Tribunal Cancelled Hearings
The union has been notified late yesterday in a note to our legal counsel that the hearing scheduled for December 9, 11, 12 and 16, 2013 has been CANCELLED!!
To read the letter that outlines a technical provision that in essence is due to a provision within the act whereby there must be a certain level of members at the tribunal, please click here. At this point we are absolutely livid about this unprecedented notification. We intend to contact the senior levels of government including the premiere of the province. We will continue to communicate with the membership on this critical matter.
To read the letter from Unifor National President Jerry Dias to The Honourable Charles Sousa Minister of Finance Government of Ontario regarding this cancellation please click sousa-navistar.pdf
November 7, 2013
Below you will find the written decision of the tribunal concerning the outstanding matter with respect to the pension plan. Full hearings will commence in December with the final decision by the end of the year or early in the new year. This decision upheld the position of the union as previously reported. To view the full decision please click here
October 15, 2013
FST HEARING UPDATE
The Financial Services Tribunal (the FST) has dismissed Navistar's preliminary objection that the Deputy Superintendent (Pensions) did not have jurisdiction to make a ruling in favour of plan members with respect to the treatment of banked credited service under Article 7.03(b)(iii) of the pension plan.
This means that the FST can move ahead and decide all the outstanding issues regarding the pending partial wind-up on the plan, as they may affect all unionized plan members, including the banked credited service issue.
The FST upheld the submissions of counsel for the Deputy Superintendent and the union that the procedure supporting the Deputy Superintendent's ruling earlier this year was fair and unimpeachable.
Hearings on all the outstanding issues will resume on December 9, 2013, and continue on December 11-12 and 16, 2013 in Toronto.
This is a very positive development by the tribunal and as previously stated Unifor will continue to fight on behalf of the Navistar workers. We will continue to update the membership through the website system.
October 2013 Update
This is an update with respect to the proceedings underway before the Financial Services Tribunal (FST) with respect to the Navistar Pension Plan.
As you will recall, several issues relating to the partial wind-up of the Plan will be determined by the FST this fall.
The first day of hearing is set for Thursday, October 10, 2013, at the offices of the FST in Toronto.
On that day, Navistar will argue its preliminary objection that the Deputy Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario did not have the authority to issue his favourable ruling regarding the treatment of "banked" credited service under Article 7.03(b)(iii) of the Plan. That specific paragraph of Article 7.03 provides certain eligible employees on layoff or sick leave with credited service up to a fixed amount during their time on layoff or sick leave.
Navistar pleads that the FST should not deal with the issue regarding the application of Article 7.03(b)(iii).
The union firmly disagrees and has responded in writing and will argue in the course of the hearing next week that the Deputy Superintendent of FSCO fairly and properly dealt with the issue of "banked" credited service, and the FST may also confirm the Deputy Superintendent's ruling.
Navistar's written submissions with respect to its preliminary objection may be viewed by clicking here.
The union's submissions may be viewed by clicking here.
The submissions of the Deputy Superintendent of FSCO may be seen by clicking here.
As always, we will keep you posted as developments occur before the FST.
July 16, 2013 Update - Notice of Hearing Before the Financial Services Tribunal ("FST")
There have been a number of former employees/retirees who have contacted the CAW-Canada concerning the Notice of hearing published by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario ("FSCO").
The Notice of hearing must be issued, by law, to everyone who was or is a member/participant in the Navistar Pension Plan, all as part of the partial plan wind up procedure.
The partial plan wind up itself is required as a result of the closure of the Company's Chatham facility in July, 2011.
The application of special partial plan wind up rules set by Statute law to the circumstances of the Navistar Pension Plan has been a source of controversy between Navistar and the CAW-Canada since the closure. Submissions with respect to the dispute were made to the Financial Services Commission ("FSCO"). Earlier this year the Deputy Superintendent (Pensions) of FSCO issued a ruling in favour of the submissions made by the CAW-Canada. Navistar chose to appeal this ruling to the Financial Services Tribunal. The CAW-Canada supports the ruling and will maintain its support before the FST.
The FST has begun its process. Part of the process includes ensuring that every member of the plan has notice of the upcoming hearing. That process of notification will include notices in the Chatham and Windsor daily papers by July 20, 2013. But all this does not mean that every member has to or should attend the hearing. For example plan members currently working at the Navistar parts depot are not affected by this dispute. And those Navistar retirees who retired prior to 2008 are not impacted by the dispute, unless they retired while on layoff or sick leave.
The legal and pension departments of the CAW-Canada are actively engaged in this file and continue to act on behalf of all Navistar workers and retirees who were affected by the 2008-2009 layoffs and the closure of the Chatham facility. The CAW-Canada is committed to presenting all relevant evidence and a cogent submission to the FST to insure the favourable ruling of the Deputy Superintendent stands unchanged.
The pending hearings are important because they seek to insure every worker/retiree who is entitled to the plan wind up protections of the law receives such entitlements. Please be assured that nothing can happen in the pending hearings which will take away any benefit a plan member currently enjoys or receives.
We have every confidence that the final decision of the FST in response to the Navistar appeal will be in the best interest of Navistar members. We believe the Deputy Superintendent's favourable original decision will be upheld by the FST. The FST hearings will occur December 2013.
We will continue to update this website as information becomes available.