Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

January 27, 2011 14:29 ET

Energy Professionals: USW 1005 pension struggle important to all

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2011) - Standing up for the US Steel pension and current and future pensioners is a priority for all members of pension plans, says Rod Sheppard, the leader of Ontario's energy professionals.

"If US Steel is able to impose its unreasonable demands, it'll be bad for these workers and pensioners , it'll be bad for the Hamilton area, and in fact it'll be bad anyone in this country with a pension plan," said Sheppard. "That's the message we're here to deliver, and we'll also be back with a busload for Saturday's Day of Action to make sure our message is heard loud and clear".

Sheppard was in Hamilton to present USW 1005 President Rolf Gerstenberger with a cheque for $10,000, to help finance the pension fightback and support the families of locked out workers .

Sheppard noted that the only strike in the Society's 50+|year history, a 105 day strike against Hydro One, was to turn back an employer demand for a two-tier pension plan similar to that being demanded by US Steel.

Sheppard said US Steel should be shown the door. "When they bought Stelco, they guaranteed us 3100 permanent, Canadian jobs, and that production levels would be maintained. They've done neither." He noted the workforce has been severely reduced, and the Hamilton blast furnace was closed in October.

"That's thousands of jobs lost to the Hamilton area, and now they want to reduce pensioners to poverty."

"Our members are engineers, scientists, financial analysts and other white collar professionals. They're not exactly what you'd call radicals," said Sheppard. "But we all recognize that if there's anything worth fighting for, it's retirement security."

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 8,300 engineers, telecommunications and information technology professionals, scientists, supervisors, and others who for generations have designed, built, operated, and helped safeguard Ontario's vast electricity system. These women and men manage our electricity system and ensure our power is there when we need it, reliably and safely. The Society's members work for Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, Bruce Power, the IESO, the OEB, the ESA and other key electricity sector employers.
/For further information: please contact Mike Belmore at (905) 308-4300/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 416-716-6438