Nothing sweet about Nestle’s position on pensions: Unifor

Toronto workers sour on negotiations, strike
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/07/2014

Talks between Unifor Local 252 and Nestle broke down after days of bargaining, leading 365 Toronto workers to strike.

Negotiations over the company’s pension plan caused bargaining to grind to a halt on May 4. Workers have been in a legal strike position as of midnight on May 3.

While the facility’s productivity has also been a point of concern, Unifor workers are focused primarily on improving their defined benefit pension plan.

“The company first came to the table with the goal of eliminating the defined benefit pension plan altogether, which was a complete non-starter for us,” said union chairperson Said Duale.

Unifor reports the company’s latest offer would see the pension plan replaced with a defined contribution plan for 25 per cent of current workers and for all future employees.

“For workers who have not had an increase to their pension in four years, this is unreasonable,” Duale said.

According to the union, Nestle has made it clear no other improvements — to wages or benefits — are on the table with this offer.

“It just doesn’t appear that they are as committed as us to finding an agreement that is far for everyone,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president. “This isn’t about one collective agreement; it’s about retirement security and good jobs for future generations.”

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