March 15, 2013: Instead of parroting the employers who want to cut our pensions, our Teamsters Union should be proposing positive legislation to protect workers' hard-earned benefits. How about these ideas:
- Build a coalition of unions, retiree groups, AARP to push for positive legislation to protect and shore up pensions.
- Propose enhanced protection from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). It is presently funded by tiny contributions from various pension plans: increase them to provide real insurance for benefits.
- End the discrimination in benefit protection against multiemployer (union) plans by the PBGC: raise the covered benefit level, which is now only about $1,100 per month for a 30-year Teamster.
- Put forward a version of the bill proposed by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in 2010, to protect the pensions of workers whose companies have gone bankrupt or moved production offshore. This protection would be a godsend to our Teamster pension funds and retirees.
Teamster members, retirees and local officers (who are covered by the same pension plans) can and will join in such an effort. Give Teamster political money only to politicians who support our right to our earned pensions. It's up to the International union to take the lead.