A Message from General President Jim Hoffa
The Teamsters have been vocal in their call for multiemployer pension reform for years. But now the union and its members are redoubling efforts and ramping up the fight to let lawmakers know what is at stake and how a piece of legislation is the right vehicle to fix the retirement mess facing some 1.5 million people nationwide.
In April, local union officials from all across the country trekked to D.C. to speak to their members of Congress about the importance of supporting the Butch Lewis Act of 2017, a bill that would boost financially troubled multiemployer pensions so they don’t fail.
They explained how their members and Teamster retirees are fearful for their futures if real change is not made. And they told elected officials how the nation’s economy could be adversely affected if legislation to fix failing multiemployer pension plans doesn’t happen.
That came only days after top Teamster officials briefed House and Senate staffers on the Hill, educating them about the Butch Lewis Act and the history of troubled pension plans.
As it stands, there are more than 300 multiemployer plans across the country—including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund—that are in danger of failing. The Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, co-chaired by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), needs to find a vehicle that will deliver for these hardworking Americans who are paying, or have paid, into the pension pool and have played by the rules all their lives.
Luckily, the Butch Lewis Act would solve the problem.
Sen. Brown is the lead sponsor in the Senate, while Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) introduced the bill in the House.
But this measure is not just a one-party plan. Republicans such as Reps. Peter King and Dan Donovan of New York, Chris Smith, Frank LoBiondo, and Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Brian Fitzpatrick and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Don Young of Alaska and Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska understand the value of the bill and should be lauded for supporting this legislation.
Workers and retirees aren’t asking for a handout; they just want what is rightfully theirs. We urge the Joint Committee to endorse this legislation that will make retirees whole. They’ve waited long enough.