Bombardier pension plan won't change for current workers
Company says its proposed plan for new workers is "about safeguarding the plant for the future"
Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay says information circulating about proposed changes to its employees’ pension plan is misleading.
More than 900 Unifor workers have been on strike for more than a week and pensions are a central issue.
"We have to be clear here that under the current contract proposal, employees who are now on strike, who are current employees today, will have absolutely no changes or impact to their existing pension plan,” said company spokesperson Stephanie Ash.
Ash said the company wants to move to a new retirement savings plan for workers hired after May 31 of this year.
A Unifor representative has said that, even though the change wouldn't affect older workers, the union is fighting for new workers to get the same pension benefits as everyone else.
But Ash said the cost-savings measure is necessary.
"Many companies are moving away from the traditional pension plan and … this is about safeguarding the plant for the future. We want to make sure that Thunder Bay's site remains competitive and we don't cost ourselves out of the market."
But Andy Savela, a national representative with Unifor based in Thunder Bay, said the striking workers believe new employees should enjoy the same pension benefits they have.
"We have a lot of senior guys on our bargaining committee who know that they're trusted with making sure that they preserve what they enjoy for the younger members that are coming in the plant."