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Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is up to Union-Busting


We think readers and, particularly, Ontario teachers, would be interested to learn what the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has been up to lately. In a word, union-busting.

The pension plan, which is funded by contributions by and on behalf of Ontario’s unionized teachers, is waging a ruthless, vindictive campaign of harassment, intimidation and threats against U.S. workers of a company it owns: Exal.

In 2010, teachers acquired a controlling stake in Exal, an Ohio firm that makes aluminum bottles and cans and named three directors to its board to actively manage its investment.

When workers began to organize with the Teamsters union in late 2012, they were met by a vicious campaign of fear and intimidation by teachers’ management, which included coercive attempts to get workers to vote against the union drive by showing them a ballot with the ‘No’ box checked.

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board, responsible for enforcing labour laws, determined that Exal illegally harassed, interrogated, threatened and spied on union supporters.

The company settled the charges by posting a notice that it would not violate the workers’ rights again.

Teachers’ management of Exal not only violates U.S. labour law but internationally accepted standards for human rights. In addition, they’ve exposed teachers and its investment at Exal to both reputational and financial risk.

Creating a divisive and hostile work environment at the company’s only North American manufacturing facility is just bad business.

Ontario teachers should demand that the stewards of their retirement security enforce the principles of responsibility and respect the core values of the plan and its participants.

ROBERT BOUVIER, President, Teamsters Canada, Laval, Quebec

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- Dave S

“I look after a lot of members in a very big plant. For years I had to fight for them by myself with no help at all from any of the Union’s representatives or Officers. This changed completely once Bobby, Bob and Paul were in office. Now I have access to my reps 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  They’re always there to back me up.” 

- Darrell Lawres – Chief Shop Steward. Saputo, Sperling

"I was a Shop Steward and was also on the contract negotiation team. The Union took the time and trouble to learn all about our industry and what we do. This means they are better able to fight for us whether it is on the job or at the bargaining table. We have the best contract in our industry. Thanks guys!"

- Gerald Price - Agrifoods