Topp addresses union rally on pensions, says bankruptcy laws used
TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - One of Canada's largest private sector
unions, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada,
has today declared its support for Brian Topp as the next leader of the
New Democratic Party.
CEP President Dave Coles announced the union's endorsement at a
demonstration in front of Brookfield Asset Management offices in
Toronto today, where Topp joined retirees protesting the loss of up to
40% of their pensions, because of corporate greed and Canada's lax
bankruptcy protection legislation.
"Brian Topp shares our union's vision of economic justice and equality,
and he has the intelligence and political skills to make that vision a
reality," said Coles. "Brian knows that what's good for working people
is good for all Canadians."
When speaking to the crowd, Topp stressed that the "heartbreaking plight
of the 'Victims of Brookfield' is a result of an economic system that
favours big corporations and banks ahead of workers and families."
"Canada's bankruptcy legislation - the Companies' Creditors Arrangement
Act - is a prime example," he said. "It allowed Brookfield to get out
of its outstanding liability of $219 million to workers and retirees.
This is not the first time the seriously flawed CCAA has been used
against workers, and it won't be the last," he said, referring to the
case of Nortel employees and other CEP members, such as those at St.
Marys Paper in Sault Ste. Marie.
"If the economy falls back into recession or economic growth remains
stunted, private pension plans will continue to fail and more and more
workers won't receive the pensions they have paid for throughout their
"I will work to ensure workers are treated equitably when companies face
financial difficulty, and to renew and improve the Canada Pension
The "Victims of Brookfield", former employees of Fraser Papers, came
from Quebec and New Brunswick to demand justice. The Victims of
Brookfield Association brings together some 800 retirees each from
former Fraser operations in Edmundston and Thurso, Que., who have lost
between 30 and 40 per cent of their pensions as a result of the
restructuring of Fraser Papers.
SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles, 613-299-5628