It wasn't that long ago retiree issues were dealt with every 6 years, our past leadership made pensions a priority. Since the removal of PCOLA , and constant reductions in our benefits, retirees have been totally ignored except for take aways. Yet Ford goes on making enormous record profits. Retirees have been taken right out of the picture. The contract all retirees signed as a condition of their retirement has been sharply altered.
Over the past number of years we were sitting in one of the most favourable conditions for bargaining ever, a 75 cent dollar, low gas prices, low interest rates, record car sale profits. Even under these ideal conditions returning what was rightfully ours took a back seat in 2016 bargaining. It was not even an issue.
Ford Motor Co. reported their best annual sales since 2005 and 2006. Last year's sales marked six consecutive years of year-over-year sales growth – a stretch that hasn't been equaled since the 1920s.
We are at an extreme disadvantage as retirees as we cannot vote on any contracts and we have no Retiree Representative sitting at the Master Bargaining table. But one thing we have is a voice and a presence and if you look back at our roots in the UAW/CAW we fought hard to make the gains that we enjoy today. Those gains are slowly being eroded and if we sit back and do nothing they will all eventually evaporate.
Our only tool that we have as retirees is to show our leadership and the Ford Motor Company that we are serious about on getting back what was part of our retirement package when we retired. We have to show that we are all united in our fight to bring back our PCOLA. In bargaining keeping work here should be a priority but so should our pensions and we need to address this. All we are asking is to give us back our pension security that was promised and guaranteed to all of us.
We are not only fighting for Retirees but also the active members who will be going on pension over the next few years. Our active members need to know how important this fight is and how they will all be negatively affected if we are unable to succeed.
We need to get our pensions back on track for all of us so that we can retire with the security and dignity that we were promised and fought so hard to achieve. Our retirees are committed to making a change and bringing our pensions back to where they belong.
Ford of Canada Retirees are committed to support this cause and do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal.