Statement from ATU Local 615 President Jim Yakubowski on the North Saskatoon Business Alliance’s Recent Attacks:
The North Saskatoon Business Association has sent a clear message to all citizens on behalf of all their association members. The comments contained in their recent release, entitled, “ATU support sends wrong message,” are disturbing for a number of reasons.
For an entity that represents businesses to challenge our endorsement of Kelley Moore and proceed to support the current position of the city clearly aligns the NSBA with Mayor Don Atchison and his administration. This same civic leadership is responsible for illegally locking out our membership, depriving the citizens of their transit service, and, ironically, negatively impacting many businesses that the NSBA represents.
For the NSBA to attack the retirement security of citizens that work all of their lives in this community and retire with a secure defined benefit income is, in my opinion, “biting the hand that feeds you.”
Isn’t it ironic that our taxpayer dollars are used to buy a membership in the NSBA? Saskatoon City Manager Murray Totland, who initiated the illegal lockout of our members, is a member of NSBA and also sits as a trustee of our pension plan. Attempts have been made by Totland and Atchison years ago to convert this defined benefit plan to something different.
Isn’t it ironic that these same individuals, now as Mayor and City Manager, are attempting the very same thing once again, when clearly the pension plan financial status today does not indicate that any radical change, such as converting the risk onto the shoulders of plan members, is necessary?
Isn’t it ironic that the NSBA is not demanding that our provincial politicians give up their own rich defined benefit plans, but rather choose to attack blue collar working people’s retirement?
I believe the endorsement from NSBA of the City of Saskatoon administration is particularly troubling. I can only assume that all of your NSBA membership has adopted this position. We will spread the word to the working class and retirees that the pension dollars they spend in Saskatoon’s economy be spent in businesses that do not oppose working people fighting for retirement security.”