OTTAWA, Dec. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Hamilton Mountain MP Scott Duvall is challenging the Liberal government to "live up to its election campaign rhetoric" and defend the rights of U.S. Steel pensioners who were robbed of their access to health benefits and prescription drug coverage.
In October, an Ontario Superior Court judge overseeing U.S. Steel Canada's bankruptcy protection case allowed the company to eliminate critical health-care benefits for 20,000 pensioners and surviving spouses. That decision, and the secret deal that allowed U.S. Steel to take over Stelco in 2007, affects pensioners and the future of the much-reduced workforce remaining at the company's Hamilton and Nanticoke operations.
"During the election campaign, the new government promised they would release details and hold the company accountable for all its promises to workers and pensioners," Duvall said Tuesday in the House of Commons. "When will the government live up to its rhetoric, open up the secret deal and stand up for workers' pensions?"
As expected, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (formerly Industry Canada), Navdeep Bains, did not directly answer the question.
Duvall, the NDP critic for pensions and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, was a Hamilton city councillor for nine years and president of USW Local 5328, the former Stelwire plant known locally as Parkdale Works.
"Scott Duvall has shown his commitment to his community and to the workers we represent," said United Steelworkers' National Director Ken Neumann. "Together with Scott, Tom Mulcair and the NDP, we will continue to put pressure on this government and demand real accountability, openness and transparency. Workers and pensioners in Hamilton don't deserve, and can't afford, to be pushed aside."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434 2221, firstname.lastname@example.org