|The Canadian Pension Charter|
|April 20, 2005
The CAW’s campaign on pension reform was launched at CAW Council, held at the Union’s Family Education Centre in Port
Elgin, Ontario from April 1 to 3, 2005. A centrepiece of the CAW campaign is the Canadian Pension Charter.
The pension charter outlines the right of all Canadians to enjoy the dignity and security of a reasonable standard of living in
CAW president Buzz Hargrove stressed the importance of the campaign, especially in light of closures and bankruptcies where
workers have been left out in the cold with under funded pensions. “We have a lot of work to do, and that is why pensions and
pension protection is the key issue as we kick off our UPC (Union in Politics Committee) work across Canada,” Hargrove said.
In addition to copies of the pension charter, delegates were given kits with pension fact sheets and other information stressing
the importance of strong pensions, including a healthy public pension system.
CAW Council and Local 444 President Ken Lewenza warned that polls indicate right wing, private sector rhetoric challenging
public pension solutions are having an impact, especially on youth. Lewenza said an important aspect of the UPC pension
campaign is to generate excitement with young people about the benefits and collective strength of the Canada Pension Plan.
Delegate after delegate supported the CAW campaign on pensions which uses the slogan Strong Pensions – Secure Future.
Delegates also supported the CAW’s position of mandatory retirement at age 65.
The charter highlights nine points including the fact that “income security during retirement must not depend on the performance
of financial markets, or whether or not a person was lucky with their investments.”
Hargrove called for a federal fund to guarantee pensions in workplaces in the federal jurisdiction. He also called for provincial
funds to guarantee pension benefits in the case of a closure or a wind down in each province. In the case of Ontario, he noted
that the existing benefit guarantee fund, with a partial guarantee of up to $1000 per month, is not adequate. Instead of a fixed
amount, Hargrove said it should be an amount that is adjusted each year.
Source: CAW News Now