OTTAWA – After closing hundreds of stores and stripping thousands of workers of their pensions and severance pay, the Sears Canada board has racked up over $2 million in expenses since Sears declared insolvency. The NDP has long called for the protection of pension wages, and NDP Pension Critic Scott Duvall tabled a Private Member's bill to stop large corporations from paying shareholders, banks, and creditors ahead of their employees when filing for bankruptcy protection.
"Pensions are deferred wages, plain and simple. Many workers spent decades at Sears, saving for their future retirement through their pension plan. The board of directors at Sears is paying themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars while former Sears employees have been robbed of their life savings. This is more than unjust — it's heartbreaking," said Duvall.
On August 1st, Sears pensioners started to feel the brunt of this bad deal, with former employees losing on average 30% of their pensions. The NDP has proposed a solution to end pension theft that would make diverting, withholding or seizing pension funds illegal under Canadian law.
"The Liberal government is failing Canadian retirees.  As long as pensioners in this country can't afford to pay their bills, we have a moral obligation to protect workers against corporate greed and lost wages. That's why I proposed a solution to stop the organized theft of workers' pensions,” added Duvall.  “The government promised in their budget to conduct consultations to explore ways to improve the lives of Canadian retirees and then failed to follow through. It’s time for this government to act instead of giving Canadian retirees more empty promises.”