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Tag Archives: pension

Electro-Motive employees in London, ON, have voted 95% in favour of accepting the severance package negotiated between the CAW and Caterpillar.  The deal does seem generous, including things such as 3 weeks of pay for each year unionized workers have been employed at Electro-Motive.  It is not, however, a long term solution or very comforting to the now unemployed workers and their families.

Where some have lost others, in another country, have gained.  As Electro-Motive workers were voting on their severance package and thinking of what to do next, Caterpillar held a job fair in Indiana, to hire workers for the plant which will replace the shuttered one in London, ON.  Indiana’s state legislature recently passed anti-union legislation.  There’s nothing wrong with Caterpillar wanting to lower costs, but there is definitely something wrong with showing complete contempt and disregard for your employees (especially long term ones) and the community in which you exist.  Based on the prominence of the Electro-Motive labour dispute and the resulting shutting down of the plant in the news, this plant was clearly an important fixture in the community.  While it is always unfortunate when business shut down, it is sometimes needed for a firm to stay competitive.  When a major employer, with ties to its community shuts down, it is something entirely different.  Businesses like this need to recognize their importance in communities and consider all stake holders in their firm, not just the shareholders.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/02/23/wdr-electro-motive-severance-vote.html

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Disclaimer: Evan’s Daily Grind in no way endorses or supports the notion that asking politicians about old age benefits is better than asking seniors.

Stephen Harper has confirmed that there may be some changes on the way for OAS.  Is it time to sound the alarm on a right wing ploy to roll back the state or is it a way to make a government program sustainable for future generations?

First, read this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/03/harper-old-age-security-eligibility.html

The first point to be considered (and focus of this entry) is a possible raise in the age of eligibility.  This is a reoccurring and very contentious issue among modern industrialized nations.  It’s caused protest and civil disobedience in Europe and elsewhere.  Massive dissent in the form of protest occurred in France when this idea of raising the age of eligibility was floated.  Fortunately, this is Canada and most people have jobs or other commitments to attend so the likelihood of some sort of “Euro Dissent Fest” occurring in the near (or likely distant) future is relative low.

Well, should we ask people to put in two more years of work?  This is where people tend to split off into different ideological camps.  However, this issue is not a simple matter of right or left, liberal or conservative, coffee or tea.  It’s a complex issue with many intervening variables to be considered. The first (and perhaps most obvious) issue to look at is the type of job one holds.  A sanitation worker or heavy manufacturing labourer will have a much different experience than someone who works in a less physically demanding job such as something in administration, service, etc.  This concept raises yet another concept: who is to say that one job is ultimately harder than another?  While a worker in a factory may have a position requiring greater physical dexterity, someone in a service or retail position may be faced with intense emotional or stress related pressures.  Furthermore, someone who holds a management position and sits at a desk all day may also have an equally demanding position resulting from the intellectual requirements and massive responsibilities and workloads.  When trying to compare one job to another in this frame is very hard.  One question only leads to another. How can an accurate and objective of assessment of jobs come about in regards to OAS age eligibility?  Who really worked the hardest?

What is needed is an objective and replicable scale; something similar that might be encountered in sociology for analyzing social topics, units or aspects.  Who would create this? Government, industry, both?  Deciding on this is yet another issue to which would need to be addressed.

The only thing that is clear is that any decision regarding age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be a tough one.  It will make some happy and some very upset.  Some people will reap the benefits, others will be screwed.  In other words, it will be just like any other political decision.

Disclaimer: Evan’s Daily Grind in no way endorses or supports the notion that asking politicians about old age benefits is better than asking seniors.

Stephen Harper has confirmed that there may be some changes on the way for OAS.  Is it time to sound the alarm on a right wing ploy to roll back the state or is it a way to make a government program sustainable for future generations?

First, read this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/03/harper-old-age-security-eligibility.html

The first point to be considered (and focus of this entry) is a possible raise in the age of eligibility.  This is a reoccurring and very contentious issue among modern industrialized nations.  It’s caused protest and civil disobedience in Europe and elsewhere.  Massive dissent in the form of protest occurred in France when this idea of raising the age of eligibility was floated.  Fortunately, this is Canada and most people have jobs or other commitments to attend so the likelihood of some sort of “Euro Dissent Fest” occurring in the near (or likely distant) future is relative low.

Well, should we ask people to put in two more years of work?  This is where people tend to split off into different ideological camps.  However, this issue is not a simple matter of right or left, liberal or conservative, coffee or tea.  It’s a complex issue with many intervening variables to be considered. The first (and perhaps most obvious) issue to look at is the type of job one holds.  A sanitation worker or heavy manufacturing labourer will have a much different experience than someone who works in a less physically demanding job such as something in administration, service, etc.  This concept raises yet another concept: who is to say that one job is ultimately harder than another?  While a worker in a factory may have a position requiring greater physical dexterity, someone in a service or retail position may be faced with intense emotional or stress related pressures.  Furthermore, someone who holds a management position and sits at a desk all day may also have an equally demanding position resulting from the intellectual requirements and massive responsibilities and workloads.  When trying to compare one job to another in this frame is very hard.  One question only leads to another. How can an accurate and objective of assessment of jobs come about in regards to OAS age eligibility?  Who really worked the hardest?

What is needed is an objective and replicable scale; something similar that might be encountered in sociology for analyzing social topics, units or aspects.  Who would create this? Government, industry, both?  Deciding on this is yet another issue to which would need to be addressed.

The only thing that is clear is that any decision regarding age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be a tough one.  It will make some happy and some very upset.  Some people will reap the benefits, others will be screwed.  In other words, it will be just like any other political decision.

Read this article from the Vancouver Sun.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Editorial+pension+crisis+reform+opportunity/6087614/story.html

It’s a piece on pension reform.  If you’re not aware of what’s (soon to be) going on with pensions in Canada, here it is in a very condensed form:  Speaking in Davos, Switzerland last week at the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Harper raised a few eyebrows in Canada when he stated that pension reform was a priority for his government.  This of course brings up a lot of questions.  What exactly does he mean by reform?  Would this include entitlement reductions, claimants needing to be older than 65 (the current age to claim a government pension).  While what exactly these reforms will look like remains to be seen, they are needed. According to the Vancouver Sun:

The chief actuary for the federal Old Age Security system estimates that as our  population continues to get greyer over the next 40 years, the ratio of people  of working age to retirees will fall from 4.4 to one to 2.2 to one.

Changing demographics; this will not only be a major challenge of a generation, but it will also have implications relating to poverty.  The baby boomers are getting old; the first wave of them retired in 2011.  Pensions will not be the only issue impacted by a nation (and a world) populated by more old than young persons.  Issues such as old age security, housing, and other social and economic issues will need to be addressed to avoid younger tax payers being over burdened by a system that is not sustainable.