Union pension meetings stress need for gov't action

OTTAWA, Nov. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The first of 16 community meetings for at-risk AbitibiBowater pensioners will be held tonight in Baie Comeau, Québec.

The community meetings are organized by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union for 18,000 pensioners of AbitibiBowater and its predecessor companies. Over the next two weeks, seven community meetings will be held in Québec, six community meetings will be held across Ontario and three meetings will be held in Atlantic Canada.

"Our retired members are at risk, and in our opinion only government action can protect their pensions," said CEP National Secretary Treasurer Gaétan Ménard. "At these meetings, we will present the facts to our pensioners and explain what the company and the union have proposed to maintain their benefits while the company restructures."

"These pensioners, together with thousands more at other companies with underfunded pension plans, are the missing link in the pension reforms now on the legislative agenda of governments across the country. It is urgent that our governments act now to fix our broken pension system before tens of thousands are harmed."

CEP and AbitibiBowater have suspended bargaining while they consult governments over the pension issue. The union and the company have met the Québec and Ontario governments and are now waiting for a meeting with the federal government.

The schedule of meetings for AbitibiBowater pensioners is posted at: http://www.cep.ca/campaigns/abitibibowater/091102_abitibibowatertour_e.html.

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Gaétan Ménard, (819) 775-6980 (mobile)

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