New Brunswick

Former Hub Meat Packers workers fight pension cut

Former employees of the decommissioned Hub Meat Packers in Moncton say their pensions are being cut by up to 25 per cent and they plan to fight back.

Cheques slashed by as much as 25% due to volatile markets, people living longer

Former employees of the decommissioned Hub Meat Packers in Moncton will see their pensions slashed by as much as 25 per cent.

Maple Leaf Foods, which took over Hub Meat Packers in 2000, transferred production to its other facilities and decommissioned the plant last fall.
Maple Leaf Foods took over the plant in 2000, but closed it down last fall.

People like Christine Gallant, who worked there for decades, say they plan to fight the cuts.

"We can't accept that. We worked hard for our pensions," said Gallant, who is 64 years old — six months away from receiving her pension.

"This is what we want to live on. We don't want it being taken away from us, every time they decide, 'Well, let's take another chunk.'"

Gallant's husband, Leonard, 66, was told his pension was safe after spending 35 years in the plant.

But he has since learned his monthly payment has dropped by 10 per cent to $642, from $713.

He says they can't afford to lose any money; they need it to survive.

But Paul Meinema, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, the union that represents the workers and is a trustee on the pension board, says the cuts had to happen.

"The markets continue to be volatile," said Meinema.

"We have an environment now of extremely low interest rates … and the fact that people are living longer."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.