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Press Release

Why the 'Occupy' movement? A true story

Canada NewsWire

Letter to the editor

EDMUNDSTON, NB, Oct. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - I worked at the Fraser Papers' mill in Edmundston, New Brunswick for 36 years. On each pay cheque, I contributed a portion of my wages to the pension fund, which I believed would be a guaranteed investment.

In 2009, with talks of a potential bankruptcy at Fraser, I decided to withdraw my pension plan with the aim of securing my assets. I signed documents and withdrew the first pension payment that I was entitled to. Unfortunately, I was able to benefit from my full pension for only three months. Having given 36 years of my life to Fraser Papers, I got a full pension for three months. In other words, one month of pension for every 10 years of service!

In October 2009, I saw my benefits thin out by 35.4%. No longer being able to live within my means, I had to return on the job market.  My search for a job was quite difficult since I have health issues. During a five-month period, I sent 134 résumés and got three part time jobs at minimum wage.

Given that my wife has health issues, such as diabetes, I had no other option than to return to work on part time basis at minimum wage. I also have health problems; I have to take medication on a regular basis in order to be able to complete my work.

What frustrates me is that there was a written contract with Fraser Papers guaranteeing my pension. I invested in that pension for more than 36 years. Why, but why must I have to pay for the deficiencies in the Canadian laws and for the abuse by Brookfield Asset Management?!

Why the Occupy movement? Because too many laws in this country are about protecting big corporations, not workers. This is just my true story of how.

Jacques Sarlabous
64 Veniot Street
Edmundston, NB
E3V 1L4
Phone: 506-735-3603
Cell: 506-733-0937
aleah@nbnet.nb.ca