Thursday, June 18, 2015

America needs to keep its pension promise to workers!

Teamsters VP John Murphy speaks at press event
Today Teamsters and other labor allies stood with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) in Washington DC to support new legislation that would protect the hard-earned pensions of workers and strengthen multi-employer pension plans.

Called the "Keep Our Pension Promises Act," the measure would:
...roll back provisions slipped into the fiscal 2015 spending bill approved by Congress last year that made earned pensions benefits vulnerable to cuts. The measure would restore anti-cutback rules so that recipients in financially troubled multi-employer pension plans will be protected from having their benefits cut.
The new legislation would also create a fund within the Pension Benefit  Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) to help ensure retirees whose pension systems were abandoned by companies will continue to receive their earned benefits.

How will the government pay to cover these workers suffering the broken promise of a well-deserved retirement? By closing tax loopholes abused by some of the same corporate forces and wealthy elites looting workers' pensions across America.

As Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said,
Retirees and workers who have played by the rules should receive the benefits they were promised. The Teamsters thank Sen. Sanders and Rep. Kaptur for taking steps to ensure the government repairs some of the damage done by big banks to these retirement plans.
Teamsters Vice President John Murphy also spoke at this morning's press conference where the bill - sponsored by Sanders and Kaptur - was unveiled:
Government actions like deregulation, bad trade deals and bailing out the big banks have all played a role in the pension crisis. The solutions to the problem should not rest on workers who have worked hard for their pensions.
Also at today's event was Frank Bryant, a retired UPS Teamster driver of 31 years. Bryant is 74 years old and is worried about his pension. He and others see the "Keep Our Pension Promises Act" as an important response to Congress's shameless betrayal of 1.5 million retirees whose troubled multi-employer plans are now open to severe cuts of 30 percent or more.

Our country made a commitment to hardworking Americans and that commitment needs to be met. We can't allow Wall Street to plunder workers' retirements security and government to renege on its promises to the men and women who make our economy run.

It's about time Congress shows the same level of concern for workers' lives - on the job and in retirement - as it shows for corporate welfare.