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Air Canada Pension Deficit Reduced By 14% Roi


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Air Canada pension deficit estimate falls on higher plan returns

03/26/2013| 05:42pm US/Eastern

Air Canada said a preliminary estimate of its pension solvency deficit has dropped to C$3.7 billion ($3.6 billion) from C$4.2 billion a year ago, reflecting a better-than-expected 14 percent return on plan assets.

Canada's largest carrier said in a recently filed annual information form that the estimate, as of January 1, 2013, was hurt by a decrease in the solvency discount rate to 3 percent from 3.3 percent. Valuations to determine the actual deficit will be completed in the first half of 2013.

Earlier this month, the airline won an extension of the cap on special payments to erase its pension fund deficit. Under the plan, which smaller rivals had objected to, Air Canada will have to pay a total of C$1.4 billion over seven years, or an average of C$200 million a year, with a minimum payment of C$150 million a year.

(Reporting By Susan Taylor; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Edited by dagger
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Porter Airlines strike pits unions against a union pension fund

The Porter Airlines strike is very 21st century. Strikers are young, ill-paid and have the deck stacked against them.

Wed Mar 27, 3013 - Toronto Star
Thomas Walkom

The strike against Porter Airlines in downtown Toronto is very much a modern labour dispute. It is low-key and almost invisible. It pits unions against themselves. It is also one where the cards are conspicuously stacked against the strikers.

The strike has been going on now for more than two months. But thanks to the Toronto Port Authority — Porter’s long-time ally in the Toronto Island airport enterprise — pickets are kept far away from passengers.

So far away, it’s hard to find them at all.

Indeed, if pickets try to hand out leaflets to passengers entering the airport ferry terminal at the foot of Bathurst Street, the Port Authority has them arrested.

That’s what happened to James Taylor two weeks ago. He and another unionist were charged with trespass for leafleting on the sidewalk outside the publicly owned terminal.

So strikers end up picketing in a hidden parking lot off to the side.

The Porter dispute is a telling one. The 22 striking fuel handlers are new-style workers. They are young. They are not paid much (starting wages are $12 an hour). And their employer doesn’t expect them to stay long.

The longest-serving Porter fuel handler says he has been with the company five years. Most stay one or two years and then move on.

Even more telling is the fact that, in this fight, labour is on both sides of the dispute.

On Sunday, delegates from a Canadian Labour Congress convention marched with the strikers to demonstrate union solidarity.

But at the same time, one of the key investors in privately-held Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. is the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), the pension fund for unionized public sector workers.

When I finally caught up with strikers Monday, they weren’t picketing Porter at all. Instead, most had set up their signs outside OMERS headquarters on University Ave., where they were trying, with varying degrees of success, to embarrass their union comrades.

Representatives of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the Canadian Autoworkers all sit on the OMERS board.

What’s even weirder is that OMERS handles the pension funds of 1,189 members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, which represents Porter fuel handlers.

'So at one level, the Porter workers are on strike against their own union.'


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A few years ago, a group of unionized workers that handle the building maintenance for the international headquarters of the I.A.M.A.W. went on strike because the I.A.M. wouldn't negotiate a contract with them. Big union = Big business.

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