How Hoffa Fueled the Pension Crisis

May 20, 2015: Nearly 400,000 Teamsters and retirees are threatened with pension cuts. How Hoffa helped put the hit on their retirement.

Nearly 400,000 Teamsters and retirees in the Central States Pension Plan are threatened with the worst pension cuts in Teamster history. So are thousands more in some local plans in New York, New Jersey and Western Pennsylvania.

Long before Congress passed pension cut legislation in December, the Hoffa administration helped pave the way for this disaster.
Passing the Buck
The Hoffa administration tries to blame the stock market meltdown of 2008 for the problems at Central States.
That’s not a complete lie: the Central States Fund lost $9.5 billion in 2008.
Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.
After all, every pension fund, including the huge $35 billion Western Conference of Teamsters Fund, is invested in the stock market. Why is the Western fund healthy and Central States on the rocks?
The Big Sell-out of 2007
In 2007, UPS demanded to pull all its members out of the Central States Fund. Hoffa and Ken Hall gave UPS exactly what they wanted.
That is the single biggest cause of the Central States Fund disaster.
If the 45,000 full-time UPSers were still in the fund, Central States would take in contributions this year of $1.435 billion. Instead, the Fund will take in less than half that amount: just $635 million. (Source: 2014 Financial and Analytical Report on Central States.)
In return for the pullout, UPS was required by law to pay $6 billion to the fund, but in 2008 the fund promptly lost 35% of that, with Goldman Sachs managing the money.
Kroger: Another Sellout?
Now, the IBT is trying an even bigger give-away, this time to Kroger. Some 5,000 Teamsters in the Central States Fund work in Kroger distribution warehouses, dairies and other facilities across the Midwest and South.
The IBT has made a tentative deal to let Kroger pull out of the fund without even paying the withdrawal liability required by law!
This sellout would cost Central States approximately $1 billion in unpaid withdrawal liability plus $50 million a year in contributions.
The Central States Fund issued a letter in April stating that they will not recognize the illegal deal; at press time, the issue is unresolved.
The Union Response
Hoffa Sr. built the Central States Fund. Hoffa Jr. is dismantling it.
The problem goes way beyond the Hoffa administration. Deregulation and job loss have taken a toll on pension funds. Some small Teamster pension funds in the East that faced no UPS pullout are in trouble due to deregulation and job losses.
The threats to our pension funds are real. The job of our union leadership is to mount a defense: by organizing new companies into the funds and mobilizing political power to defend our retirement security.
Under Hoffa it’s been the opposite. the Central States Director testified in favor of the pension cut legislation. Not one Hoffa administration official has spoken out against the Central States pension cut plan.
Working Teamsters and retirees are mad—and we’re taking action. Join the movement to save union pensions. The retirement you save may just be your own!

Showing 5 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Stephanie McAllister
    followed this page 2016-10-11 15:49:32 -0400
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2016-09-05 18:34:39 -0400
    The HOFFA shills ALWAYS blame the mid decade recession for the losses..funny how their pensions weren’t affected.
    They live a life shielded from the realities we all face.
    No wonder our standards continually drop.
    If the officers were tied to performance in their jobs instead of being HOFFA lackeys.
    “We would all do better, when we all do better”
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2016-05-30 15:35:43 -0400
    Teamsters local #631 Tradeshow members faced a eerily similar defunding with our H/W benefits(2002-3),when Hoffa’s trustee made a backdoor deal with our largest contributor lowering cotrtributions in mid contract.
    When our healthcare lost ability to meet it’s obligations,the Trustee sought to have our next hourly raise go to H/W.
    Naturally this didn’t work. Soon we had to drop dental and vision! By this time the scandoulsTrustee had been forced out by IRB for the usual smorgasbord board of RACKETEERING charges all Hoffa’s ‘special’ assistants and International trade show officers aquire. We never recovered standards we had before the Trusteeship (JOB SECURITY or the Benefits.)
  • Nick Pidkamimy
    commented 2016-05-19 16:00:22 -0400
    Doesn’t it always seems the little guys get the shaft.The top dogs don’t give a damn about us.we work our ass of so we can have a descent retirement.In the meantime the cowards steal our hard earned money.I say make them roommate with Bernie Madoff.
  • John Sudol
    commented 2016-02-01 13:52:57 -0500
    I say no cuts to our pension we have earned
Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Carhaul Contract Votes Finally Revealed

One month after the fact, the Hoffa administration has finally revealed the local-by-local vote results on the Jack Cooper contract vote of September 12. It took them one month to tally 25 numbers?

Members Elect Reformers to Rebuild 71

After Voting No against contract givebacks, members have voted out pro-Hoffa officers in Charlotte Local 71.  Members elected TDU activist Willie Ford and the Rebuild 71 Slate to lead their local. Ford beat the incumbent president by 757 to 286.

View More News Posts