Over the past quarter-century, labour and management have joined together to develop a solution to the problems of delivering quality health services and retirement plans to workers and their families in industries typified by small companies and a mobile work force. That solution is the multi-employer plan ("MEP"), which encompasses both multi-employer pension plans and multi-employer benefit plans.
MEPs have been made feasible by the economies of scale enjoyed by bringing together of large numbers of smaller employers. Financial savings occur in such areas as administration and purchasing of benefits, which would not otherwise be available to individual employers, particularly small employers.
There are hundreds of MEPs in Canada covering well over 1,000,000 workers and their families in industries as diverse as building and construction, food, service, retail, hotel and restaurant, graphic arts, garment manufacturing, security, textiles, transportation, and entertainment. A single MEP may be national, regional, provincial or local in coverage. Anywhere from 2 to over 1,000 employers may contribute to a single MEP pursuant to several collective agreements.