March 15, 2012: Teamster members in every industry are still paying the price for Hoffa's pension missteps and the UPS pullout from the Central States.
The explosion of unfunded liability in Central States helped drive YRC to the brink and trigger more concessions, including the suspension of pension contributions for thousands of YRC Teamsters.
The spiraling crisis has opened the door for other companies to attack Teamster pensions. ABF, our union's second largest freight carrier, wants pension givebacks too.
All Teamsters are paying the price for corporate attacks on our pensions.
Strong union pension funds have been a foundation of Teamster Power for decades. But that foundation is weakening.
Newly organized companies, like UPS Freight and First Student, have been allowed to stay out Teamster pension and health funds and keep lesser health and pension benefits.
Waste Management, the biggest player in a growing Teamster industry, has pulled out of Teamster pensions in a number of areas, and the International has not lifted a finger to stop it.
We need an action plan to defend Teamster pensions.
- Draw the line against any employers pulling out of our pension plans, with the International backing any local or contract under fire.
- Organize new employers into Teamster funds. It's not easy, but it has to be done to rebuild our funds for the future.
- Step up political action to protect workers' pensions. Mobilize Teamster retirees, and link with other unions, seniors' groups and allies.
- Go on the offensive in upcoming national contracts, to provide adequate funding levels for all Teamster funds to start to move them back into the "green zone" so pension cuts can be restored.
"Getting YRC back to full contributions in our pension funds has to be our top priority. Working Teamsters at Holland, New Penn and YRC made sacrifices to keep the company afloat. Now we need to get our retirement security back. And we don't need to wait until 2015. Our leaders in the 2013 freight negotiations need to be challenged to restore full pension contributions when they sit down to bargain with ABF and YRC."
Dave Kumm, Holland Road Driver
Local 200, Milwaukee