Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 17, 2007 12:45 ET

"No to Uncertainty! No to Poverty!" Byers Says

Canadian Labour Congress calls on MTS Allstream to keep defined benefit pension plans

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2007) - "Eighty four percent of workers who have a pension, have "Defined benefit pension plans" (often called DB Plans) because they are good for employers and employees," explains Barbara Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress at today's Winnipeg rally of MTS Allstream's workers to protect their pension plan.

Employers see DB plans as a valuable source of employee retention. Employees see their defined benefit pension plans as a pool of deferred wages that will deliver dignity, certainty and economic security when they retire. - Registration, clear regulations, inspections, public reporting and decades of experience have made DB plans reliable and safe.

Management at MTS Allstream want to erase all these advantages in favour of a more precarious and expensive defined contribution model. - Defined contribution plans carry more risks than many RRSPs and suffer from the same higher management costs that equal 30 to 40 percent of the contributions over an average work life.

"Bay Street and money managers obviously prefer these plans. But they are not good for working families," Byers says. "MTS Allstream is getting bad advice. The company is putting its employees' retirement prospects in jeopardy to chase apparent short-term savings. Experience elsewhere has shown that this strategy only leads to higher expenses, litigations and difficulty hiring and retaining employees."

"The Canadian Labour Congress is on the side of MTS Allstream employees to say: No to uncertainty! No to poverty! - We are calling on MTS Allstream to stop attacking and undermining its employees' DB pension plan. Pensions are deferred wages and a highly-profitable company like MTS Allstream should make sure that its workers have the best possible retirement prospects."

"Only Bay Street high rollers, money managers and pension administrators really profit from the defined contribution pension plans they are pushing. That is why the Canadian Labour Congress advocates to protect and multiply the more reliable defined benefit pension plans and promote dignity, certainty and economic security for workers' retirement years."

The Canadian Labour Congress will hold a national conference on pensions and workers in Ottawa, November 1-3. The conference theme is: "Move Forward Together, or Fend for Yourself? The Future of Canadian Pensions."

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's organized by the national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress (Winnipeg)
    John Doyle, MFL
    Canadian Labour Congress (Ottawa)
    Jean Wolff