CanWest pensioners’ lives in limbo

The union representing active workers at CHCH says it is not convinced the option should be considered yet.

Bob Huget, Ontario vice-president of the Communications Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada, says the solution rests with CanWest, which should properly fund the plan before closing it.

“The government should insist that the plan is fully funded so that retirees are not at odds with active members trying to get what they’re both legally entitled to under the terms of the plan,” he said.

Among its actions, the union has filed grievances with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, arguing CanWest is obliged by the terms of the pension plan to fund shortfalls in the plan before it is closed.

Retirees, however, say while they hope funding can be improved through legal avenues, they are also preparing to ask active members for help.

“I never expected this … after working so many years and being so faithful to a company,” says Larry Schnurr, a former manager at the station who retired in 1997 after 37 years producing programming.

“It’s upsetting for not only me, but for a lot of us.”

© The Globe and Mail

Keywords: pension