Nortel Pensioners Rally on the Hill to Demand Justice

OTTAWA, Oct. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Pensioners, long-term disabled and former Nortel employees are declaring they want justice and action now from the federal government, to overhaul the country's unfair bankruptcy laws.

On October 21, they will converge on Parliament Hill from communities across Ontario and Quebec to join in a mass protest rally at 12:00 noon. Many workers represented by the CAW, CEP, Steelworkers and Teamsters are expected from Sudbury, Belleville, Kingston, and Montreal to join in support of this demonstration.

At issue is the loss of pensions, severance pay, disability and medical benefits as many Canadian companies, like Nortel, go into bankruptcy. Their message is that workers who helped build successful companies are being discriminated against, cheated out of what is owed them and now face financial ruin. A public invitation has been extended to all workers concerned about their pensions to come out and show their support.

While Governments in other countries where Nortel operated are taking action to secure pensions and not punish retirees caught in bankruptcy proceedings, both our federal and provincial governments continue to point fingers over jurisdictional issues. On Oct. 7th at the Queens' Park Rally CAW National President Ken Lewenza, said "This is a travesty of justice for all Nortel workers."

Speaking at next Wednesday's rally will be: President of the Canadian Labour Congress Ken Georgetti, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) Dave Coles, President of Nortel Retirees and former employees Protection Canada (NRPC) Don Sproule, NRPC Montreal representative Bernard Neuschwander, Long-Term Disabled employee group representative Sue Kennedy and Independent Financial Analyst Diane Urquhart.

So far, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP Leader Jack Layton will also address the crowd. At 11:15am, members of the NRPC and several speakers will be available for interviews near the podium in the demonstration area below the steps to the Hill.

After the rally, the event will then move into Parliament with follow-on meetings with other parties and a press conference at 4:00pm in the Charles Lynch Room of the Press Gallery.

In its prime Nortel had manufacturing plants in Montreal, Belleville, Brampton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, and Calgary. The CEP represented the Nortel Installers in Ontario while the Teamsters represented the unionized employees in Quebec. The CAW once represented several thousand Nortel workers in Ontario. Today only the Belleville location remains with a few CAW members. And they have an uncertain future since Nortel has just sold their operation to a US company.

The NRPC is a volunteer organization whose goal is to protect the interests of all Nortel pensioners and former employees. The NRPC has been actively campaigning on their behalf in the courts, political arenas and media since Nortel entered bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Don Sproule, NRPC President, (613) 266-9336, sproule.nrpc@gmail.com; Francois Meunier, NRPC Ottawa Region, (613) 612-3231, fmeunier@sympatico.ca; Bernard Neuschwander, NRPC Quebec Region, (514) 769-7593, bmk@sympatico.ca; Anne Clark-Stewart, NRPC Media Relations, (613) 612-8032, leisurelodge@sympatico.ca; Michelle Walsh, CEP Communications, (613) 230-5800 x222, mwalsh@cep.ca; for Regional Interviews Please contact the following: Earl Sills, NRPC Chair Halifax and Atlantic Canada, (902) 478-5822 (cell), (902) 443-3989 (home), earlsills@hfx.eastlink.ca; Ken Lyons, NRPC Chair Montreal/Quebec, (514) 214-6458 (cell), (514) 694-6458 (home), lyons@nortelpensioners.ca; Barrie Gunhouse, NRPC Chair Kingston, (613) 549-8138 (home), bgunhouse@msn.com; Darwin Hoskin, NRPC Chair Belleville, (613) 967-0536 (home), donna_hoskin1@sympatico.ca; Mike Moorcroft, NPRC Chair Toronto, (905) 823-8924 (home), michaelmoorcroft@hotmail.com; Chuck McEwan, NRPC Chair London, (519) 681-2407 (home), chuck.mcewan@sympatico.ca; Ken Shaw, NRPC Calgary and Western Canada, (403) 948-7488, kenshaw4@telus.net

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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