Retirees commence class action against General Motors of Canada

A class action filed on behalf of more than 3,500 retirees against General Motors of Canada Limited claims that, over the last two years, the  automaker has unilaterally slashed the post-retirement benefits it provides to its former white collar workers.

Joseph O'Neill worked for GM for almost 40 years. He is the representative plaintiff in the lawsuit that was served on GM on May 6, 2010. O'Neill is asking the court to order GM to provide its retirees with the post-retirement benefits the automaker promised to all of its salaried and executive employees.

"Retirees depend on the drug plans, extended healthcare benefits and the life insurance that GM promised it would provide," O'Neill says. "These benefits were promised to us over the course of our long careers at GM. We can't go back today and demand higher salaries for the work we did over the years. It isn't fair for GM to come now and take away the benefits that we have earned in years gone by."

O'Neill is the Communications Director of the GENMO Salaried Pension Organization, which is dedicated to promoting the protection of the pensions, benefits and other common interests of General Motors of Canada Limited  salaried pension plan members.  The group represents more than 3,500 white collar retired GM employees.

In 2007, and again in 2009, GM announced that many of the post-retirement benefits which it had agreed to provide for its retired salaried and executive employees would be reduced or eliminated. The retirees group alleges that reducing and eliminating the benefits was unlawful.

A copy of the statement of claim for the class action is at