Labour Day Message from USW District 6 Director Marty Warren: Fighting for Fairness

Labour Day’s roots are in the struggle for workers’ rights – for union recognition, for the eight-hour day, for dignity and a voice at work, for health and safety and more.

This Labour Day we are fighting to stop the unfairness and protect workers’ pensions.

Canadians are appalled by the plight of thousands of employees and pensioners who are being victimized by the bankruptcy protection manoeuvring of Sears Canada. Thousands have been laid off and even more stand to lose the severance, benefits and pensions that they earned, while Sears pays millions in bonuses to executives and managers.

Members and retirees of the Steelworkers know all too well the pain and anguish caused by unfair bankruptcy and insolvency laws that Liberal and Conservative governments have steadfastly maintained for decades.

Pensions for Steelworkers in Sault Ste. Marie at Essar are under threat during restructuring.

Retired Steelworkers in Wabush, Labrador, have lost 23% of their pensions and their negotiated retiree benefits have been wiped out. Steelworkers are suffering and our union is fighting back.

We will keep fighting to protect pensions for workers across Canada. It’s about fairness and we won’t give up.

There are solutions. Laws can be changed to put workers first.

Experts in bankruptcy and restructuring law have put forward practical and realistic legislative reforms that would protect employees and pensioners, without causing economic upheaval.

Even the Supreme Court of Canada has noted that successive federal governments have made a deliberate choice to favour creditors such as banks and major investors over vulnerable pensioners and employees.

Steelworkers will keep up the pressure on provincial and federal governments to change the laws so workers’ pensions are protected. With our NDP allies we are pushing for needed changes. And Canadians are with us.

So on Labour Day, take time to appreciate all we’ve achieved for workers. And commit to continue the fight for fairness and justice for all working people.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
USW District 6 Director

Press Inquiries

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Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Bob Gallagher
bgallagher@usw.ca
416-544-5966 or
416-434-2221

Communications Department:
Lydia Forge
communications@usw.ca
416-544-5991 

Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy
ccauchy@metallos.ca
514-774-4001 

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7