EDMONTON—The government’s retreat on radical changes to retirement savings plans is a wise move, says Unifor, Canada’s largest union in the private sector. Unifor vigorously opposes Bills 9 and 10 because they could lead to cuts in retirement income for tens of thousands of seniors.
“Albertans from every corner of the province rallied to oppose being cheated out of the pensions they paid for,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s western director. “We’re pleased that the government listened and has chosen to withdraw and review the legislation, but we want guarantees that retirees will be respected and workers will have a voice in any review of our pensions.”
Bill 9’s revisions to public sector pensions created controversy and widespread criticism throughout the winter and spring. Bill 10, quietly introduced on April 16 without any prior notice, proposed to create loopholes in the private sector pension legislation to enable employers to unilaterally convert defined benefit plans into target benefit plans.
“We need action to improve the standard of living for seniors,” said Warnock. “Bills 9 and 10 were a recipe for cuts to retirees’ incomes.”
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector.