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Unifor defends seniors' pensions at committee hearing

EDMONTON, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor will advise the government to shelve Bills 9 and 10 during testimony to the Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future this afternoon.

"Bills 9 and 10 are a serious blow to the dignity and independence of Alberta's seniors," said Joie Warnock, Unifor's Western Director. "This legislation is a crass attempt to have companies profit from taking seniors' retirement income."

Bill 9 (Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act) and Bill 10 (Employment Pension (Private Sector) Plans Amendment Act) were introduced in the spring with no notice or public consultation. Public backlash forced the government to refer them to the Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future.

On top of addressing the major concerns with both bills, Unifor's submission will address the problem of the lack of pension coverage in Alberta, stress the need to broaden the economic outlook when considering pension sustainability, and provide recommendations to the committee on how to improve retirement security for Albertans.

"We are calling on the government to take a more balanced approach and consider the interests of workers and pensioners for an adequate and secure pension today and into the future," said Warnock. 

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.