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Unifor steps up fight for Northstar retirees

September 7, 2017

MILTON - For the second day in a row, Unifor brought the call for Northstar Aerospace to fully fund the pension plan right to the company’s doorsteps, with a rally outside its Milton plant.

“There are no fences and no security firms big enough to keep us from fighting for justice for these workers,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias told more than 200 people outside the Northstar plant in Milton this afternoon.

The company erected two seven-foot fences around the plant and installed 24-hour security guards.

“If Northstar has the money for fences and the money for security guards, it has the money for pensions,” Dias said.

The rally comes one day after a demonstration outside the private equity firm of Northstar, Wynnchurch Capital in the heart of the Toronto’s Financial District.

Dias said the company can easily afford to top up the pension to prevent a 24 per cent cut in benefits for current and future retirees, but it is choosing not to do so. The average Northstar retiree is 70 years old, receiving an $881 monthly pension. The cut will mean a reduction of $211 each month, implemented when the plant closes at the end of this month.

Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley told the crowd he received a letter from Northstar’s lawyers last night warning him about an injunction in place at the plant after last month’s occupation by Unifor.

“Do the right thing,” Buckley said. “Stop spending money on lawyers and sending me threatening letters and put that money towards your workers’ pensions.”

Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi pledged Unifor’s continued support for Northstar workers and retirees. “We are all with you. This fight is not over. It’s just starting,” Rizvi said.

To date, the company has offered no response to the union’s single demand – to fund the pension deficit. To learn more and to find out how you can show your support for Northstar workers, read this leaflet and follow #NorthstarAction on Twitter.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.