When making a decision about joining a company, understanding the benefits – including pension – is as important a part in that process as is understanding other elements including wages, advancement opportunities, and work culture.

For Pietro, that was the case when he chose to join Westminster Savings. Having brought experience from another banking institution, Pietro wanted to join a company where he knew the benefits were superior to where he had previously worked.

What Pietro wasn’t made aware of, however, during the time he went through his successful interview process, was that the collective agreement between Westminster Savings and the union, MoveUP, had expired and that a new one had not yet been negotiated.

This information had not been provided by human resources, nor did the employer indicate that they would be looking to get rid of the defined benefit pension plan (one of the initial proposals to the union was to move all workers off that plan before it was later changed to only deny new employees hired after July 1, 2018 access to the plan).

Apparently, if you take their latest claims at face value, Westminster Savings at that time just a couple of short years ago was already giving serious thought to closing the Shaughnessy Station branch where Pietro was hired.

If he had known all these plans at the time, Pietro might have chosen to stay with his previous employer.

An employer that values its employees and treats them as true team members, rather than just a means to an end, would understand the importance of being upfront, honest, and truthful with employees and prospective employees.

Pietro, along with the rest of the workers on the picket line at the Shaughnessy Station branch, are fighting to preserve the pension plan for all workers so that all employees are treated fairly and equally.

July 1 recently just passed, which means it has now been a full year of newly-hired employees at Westminster Savings not having access to the same defined benefit pension plan that their seasoned colleagues have even though they perform the same work.

One has to wonder just how many prospective employees since July 1, 2018 were informed about this prior to joining Westminster Savings?