Media Advisory - Teamsters plan a demonstration in Ottawa for October 21

    
    The Teamsters Union is organizing a demonstration on October 21 on
    Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. The goal of this gathering is to make the
    Canadian people and federal elected officials aware of the situation of
    Flextronics workers.
    

LAVAL, QC, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Teamsters Union is organizing a demonstration on October 21 on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. The goal of this gathering is to make the Canadian people and federal elected officials aware of the situation of Flextronics workers.

The kickoff for this demonstration was the filing of a series of grievances by the Teamsters Union so that its members who worked at the Flextronics plant in Montreal may benefit from their Retiring Allowance Plan (RAP). This plan was part of the collective agreement bargained between the parties a few years ago.

A RAP is an amount received by workers to guarantee their livelihood between the time they stop working and the time they reach retirement age.

Over recent months, Flextronics workers have learned that their former employer had unilaterally decided reduce their RAP cheques. Some saw their income slashed by close to 90%!

The Teamsters Union is speaking out and asking Ottawa and Quebec to resolve the issue.

"This fight between the two organizations has put a heavy financial strain on Flextronics workers," said Serge Bérubé, President of Teamsters Local Union 1999. Most of those receiving the RAP cannot even continue to pay for their rent, food or electricity."

If a law were to be introduced governing foreign takeovers of Canadian companies, the RAP would be more stable for workers at companies that go bankrupt.

"What workers have gone through at Flextronics could happen in a number of other companies," added Mr. Bérubé. These pre-retirement pensioners have a right to their RAP, and governments should not allow companies that pack it in after a few years of business in Canada to dodge their responsibilities."

Meetings are planned for the day of the demonstration between representatives of the Teamsters Union and various politicians. The Teamsters Union intends to intensify its efforts to convince the federal elected officials to include a bill in the legislative agenda regarding foreign takeovers of Canadian companies.

Moreover, pre-retirement pensioners from Flextronics will come and lend their support to Nortel retirees who have had their pension cheque reduced by 20 to 30% because of the sale of bankrupt Nortel's assets. The retirees will also demonstrate in Ottawa so that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act is amended in order for workers to become priority creditors.

    
    Goal: Raise awareness among the Canadian public and the federal
    government of the situation faced by members of the Flextronics Retiring
    Allowance Plan and Nortel retirees.

    When:      Wednesday, 21st October 2009, from noon to 1 pm.

    Where:     Parliament Hill, Ottawa

    Who:       Retired workers from Flextronics and Nortel

    Speakers : Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada
               Pierre Lebrun, Union Representative, Teamsters Local Union
               1999
               Ken Lyons, Nortel Retirees' Protection Committee
    

The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

SOURCE Teamsters Canada

For further information: For further information: Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada, (514) 609-5101; Additonal information: www.teamsters.ca/en/news/1289/


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