During the first week of September Unifor brought the call for Northstar Aerospace to fully fund the pension plan to the company’s doorsteps, with two actions over the course of two days.
After holding an occupation at the Milton plant in August, the company has taken aggressive action towards Unifor and members of Local 112. Three workers were terminated, three others suspended, and Northstar has attempted to restrict workers ability to access their elected union representatives. It has also erected two seven-foot fences around the plant and installed 24-hour security guards.
“There are no fences and no security firms big enough to keep us from fighting for justice for these workers,” National President Jerry Dias told more than 200 people at an afternoon rally on September 7.
As further evidence of Northstar’s attempt to bully and suppress dissent, the President of the Ontario Federation of Labour Chris Buckley received a letter from lawyers warning him about speaking at the rally.
The rally took place one day after a demonstration outside Northstar’s private equity firm, Wynnchurch Capital in the heart of the Toronto’s Financial District.
As a profitable company, Northstar can easily afford to top up the pension to prevent a 24 per cent cut, which amounts to a monthly reduction of $211 for retirees, but it is choosing not to do so.
Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi who MC’ed the rally 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.