WABUSH. N.L. - Wabush Mines Pensioners now have a little more information concerning their pensions. Last week hourly and staff former workers attended a meeting where accountants and lawyers explained the process that led to funds would go into their pension funds, which were underfunded. Several years ago, because of the shortfall Wabush Pensioners lost from 21 to 25 per cent of their pensions, and medical benefits were terminated.
The pensioners and former workers will receive $18 million dollars towards the pension fund, as will salaried workers as well. That will mean increases to their pensions, the amount is still being calculated.
The settlement for the union to compensate for loss of medical benefits is $10.9 million dollars to be shared by Pensioners; the staff workers will get $2.3 million.
A press release from the United Steelworkers said this a big victory for all pensioners.
“This is good news for pensioners and former workers," said Marty Warren, United Steelworkers (USW) Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada."Our union has fought relentlessly alongside the former Cliffs workers and pensioners and this struggle has finally paid off with this settlement.”
Meanwhile Steelworkers say it’s time for governments to enact legislation, Warren says.
“The law must change. That's why Steelworkers have been lobbying federal MPs from every party this spring to demand better legislation that puts workers and pensioners first."
The whole process must still go through the court process and no definite date for pension increases has been determined, but union officials are hoping it will pass through as quickly as possible.