John Binder of Breitbart News reported that union workers are raising concerns about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Wuhan virus relief package due to its provisions that cut employees’ pension plan.
House Democrats passed their own Wuhan virus relief package, titled the HEROES Act, last weekend despite labor unions’ misgivings that the legislation will put their pensions in jeopardy during a time of tumult.
A number of unions teamed up together to sign a letter where labor leaders said the relief package will undermine the pension system and leave workers susceptible to benefits and contributions cuts in the near future.
“Composite legislation is deeply flawed because it allows multiemployer plan trustees to ‘refinance’ their obligations to workers and retirees in the existing plan over 25 years instead of 15 years, so they can divert money to start a new composite plan,” the letter said. “This weakens the existing plan and leaves neither plan — the existing plan nor the composite plan — with enough money to pay promised benefits.”
The full letter can be read here:
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the International Assoc. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the Musicians for Pension Security, the Pension Rights Center, the SEIU, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the United Steelworkers, and the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust signed the letter.
The Western Conference of Teamsters previously cautioned that drastic cuts to workers’ pensions are must take place under this policy.
“A typical, mature composite must cut workers’ on-going benefits by 70 percent and their previously earned benefits by 25 percent … Additionally, the legacy plan must still cut workers’ previously earned benefits by 21 percent,” the union’s analysis highlighted.
Labor leaders for the United Steelworkers (USW) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) also pressed their members to write letters to Congress urging that the provision be scrapped from Pelosi’s HEROES Act.
IBEW officials mailed literature to members saying the provision will “bail out employers.”
“IBEW opposes composite pension plans because they will sharply reduce pension benefits for current workers and retirees, eliminate employer withdrawal liabilities, and threaten the viability of the federal pension insurance program,” the literature noted.
Members of the Dissident Left opposed Pelosi’s HEROES Act, calling attention to how the bill tacked on massive tax break for the top one percent of billionaires and millionaires by getting rid of the cap on the SALT deduction. Additionally, the relief package allows employers to hire illegal aliens over unemployed Americans at lower wages without having to face prosecution from federal agencies.
The relief package is now going to the GOP-controlled Senate where it will likely die in its current form.
Forced unionization should be discouraged, but the concept of unionization in of itself is legitimate.
In a time of upheaval, we should all come together and not have our benefits.