Matthew Usherwood, The Canadian Press

The federal New Democratic Party is proposing changes to federal bankruptcy laws to protect employees and retirees when their employer files for bankruptcy.

Its End Pension Theft campaign focuses on ensuring workers’ pensions and health benefits have the same consideration as secured creditors.

“Pensions earned by workers are deferred wages, plain and simple. Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in a news release. “For too long, Liberals and Conservatives have been putting well-connected insiders — and the corporations and multinational companies they represent — first, and asked Canadian workers to settle for less. We think that’s unacceptable.”

Read: Sears Canada motions on pension, health benefits ‘concerning to retirees’

This fall, NDP pension critic Scott Duvall will introduce a private member’s bill this fall that would change the legislation to prioritize pensions and force companies to provide termination or severance pay before they pay secured creditors.

“The Liberals must lead by example and prioritize protecting workers’ pension plans,” said Duvall. “Workers fulfilled their obligation regarding their pension; companies must do the same. This needs to be about fairness for workers. We will continue to fight for a Canada that works for everyone and will make sure corporations and multinationals can’t steal the pensions their workers and retirees have earned.”

Read: B.C. case pits U.S. pension claims against Canadian workers in bankruptcy matter

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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