Retiree Report April 2019

retiree report

Retiree Chairperson’s Report – April 2019

There was an important meeting on Thursday, March 28th, 2019 in London, Ontario.  It brought together all the Chairpersons of the Retired Workers Chapters with members who worked at the Big Three meaning at Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. The focus of the meeting was on getting the return of indexation on our pensions.  The COLA on pensions ended in 2008 at Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.  Ford stopped the COLA on its retiree pensions later in 2009.

It was a great meeting.  The Retirees Chapter, Chairpersons in attendance, brought a lot of history and knowledge to the meeting.  I was happy to be around with people trying to work on what our position was going to be for the meeting, the next day on Friday, March 29, 2019.  There were all kinds of discussions on what our demands would be and there were a lot of different approaches that we talked about.  But we all agreed to one thing.  We need some type of good indexation on the pension plans at all three (3) companies, meaning at Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.  We do not care what this is going to be called as long as it addresses the inflation that we are suffering with in terms of our annual pension income.

At the meeting, on Friday March 29, 2019, Shane Wark, who is an assistant to the National President of Unifor, and the Presidents of the locals and the GM Unit Chairperson for General Motors participated. Chris Wilski, Bob Such, Les MacDonald and I all made separate presentations to the meeting.  We all made a good case as to why we, as pensioners, need our annual inflation protection back on our pensions.  I talked about the 19.88 percent inflation from 2008 to the present time meaning 2019.  This means that what a dollar bought you in 2008 now requires $119.88 in order to buy the same thing now. The meeting lasted for two and half hours.  Shane Wark and the Presidents of the locals Ford and Fiat Chrysler and the GM Chairperson of Oshawa spoke to the meeting. They all made no commitment. But they did say that they understand our demand for annual inflation protection.

I think that all the meetings involving the Retirees Chapter Chairpersons on Thursday and Friday’s meeting with Shane Wark, the Presidents, as well as Unifor National Staff went well.

On May 7, 2019, we will have another meeting in Ingersoll, Ontario.  We will again talk about going forward with our demand for annual inflation protection on our pensions.

Finally, I just want to make yet another reminder about the “Healthcare Rally” at Queen’s Park Toronto (Main Legislative Building) on Tuesday, April 30th at 12:00 noon.  We really need to turn out for this one.  Please get on the bus!

Fred Dougan
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199