Teamsters Union supports demands of Nortel Retirees' Protection Committee

    If the government does nothing to toughen up the Bankruptcy and
    Insolvency Act, companies impatiently awaiting the court decision in the
    Nortel case will also want to walk away from their responsibilities to
    their retirees...

LAVAL, QC, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Teamsters Union is going to help the Nortel Retirees' Protection Committee (NRPC) so that its views are heard at a demonstration on October 21 on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. The NRPC's fight is aimed mainly at ensuring the sustainability of defined benefit pension plans of companies in bankruptcy like Nortel.

"Other bankrupt Canadian companies are anxiously waiting to see what the courts will decide before determining if they, in turn, will abandon their responsibilities to their retirees," explained Robert Bouvier, President of Teamsters Canada. "Nortel's case is vital to the rights of Canadian retirees."

The sustainability of defined benefit pension plans is ensured in the United States through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and in Britain through the Pension Protection Fund. Both guarantee pension payments to a maximum of $5,000 a month. In Canada, Ontario is the only jurisdiction that provides such a guarantee, although it is limited to $1000 a month.

Workers from Flextronics, a Montreal plant that used to be part of Nortel, are going to come and support their fellow workers from Nortel. Flextronics workers have been fighting as well in order to make their former employer fulfill its obligations under the Retiring Allowance Plan.

"We feel that the two battles are similar because the workers once again are the ones suffering the consequences of the mess Nortel has caused," added Robert Bouvier. The elected officials must take note - and act - to protect the interests of Canadian workers."

The Teamsters Union will intensify its efforts to make the federal and provincial elected representatives aware of the situation faced by Nortel retirees and pre-retirement pensioners from Flextronics.

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; Additional information:

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