Pension Movement: “We Must Escalate!”

A crowd of over 500 Teamsters and retirees in Kansas City yesterday listened intently as Karen Friedman, Policy Director of the Pension Rights Center, told them “we must escalate our efforts to protect our pensions.“


That escalation is happening now. The Missouri-Kansas City Committee to Protect Our Pensions meeting drew concerned Teamsters from up to 300 miles distant, and was one of a dozen such meetings in the past week.

Some 500 retirees overflowed a Columbus Town Hall Meeting with Ken Feinberg, Treasury Department Special Master three days ago, and 250 more turned out the following day in Milwaukee.

Fred Zuckerman, the president of Local 89, presented an articulate argument for denying the Central States Proposal to Feinberg, and was joined in opposition by some 25 other speakers in Columbus. Zuckerman also submitted a comment to the Treasury Department that concerned Teamsters should read. 

Pension Rights Center attorney Norman Stein submitted another comment which lays out the reasons for rejection.

Lichtenwald’s Road Show Flops

Central States Trustee Bill Lichtenwald has meanwhile been traveling to sell the pension cut program to Teamsters, without much success. Yesterday at a Columbus Ohio retirees' meeting, he admitted that the Teamster officials who are trustees will not move to delay the cuts to allow time for better solutions.

Last Sunday, Lichtenwald was pressed by Cincinnati retirees to agree to make a motion to withdraw the benefit cut proposal, and he promised to do so. But just four days later, Lichtenwald told a packed hall in Columbus that he could not get any support from the Teamster trustees – who supposedly represent us!

Those Teamster trustees should either stand up for members and retirees or get the hell of the way by resigning. Teamsters have already demanded the resignation of Lichtenwald, who was slammed in the Independent Review Board’s report on corruption in the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, which he headed until his removal.

The growing movement to defend pensions will continue to demand that Central States withdraw their proposal and support efforts for a more positive solution.

The pension movement will continue to reach out and expand into new areas and build support from more allies. 

Showing 45 reactions

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  • Tony L
    commented 2019-01-23 20:45:32 -0500
    Gotta keep the fight up. Sad to see so many people lose their pensions. Appreciate the info.
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  • Dave Bish
    commented 2018-06-06 18:51:26 -0400
    This is a great article that my boys can relate too. Thanks for posting and stay united.

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  • Anonymous
    commented 2018-06-05 18:52:46 -0400
  • Be Harr
    commented 2018-04-21 04:34:23 -0400
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  • Be Harr
    commented 2018-04-21 04:32:11 -0400
    Great article looking forward to more!
  • Be Harr
    commented 2018-04-21 04:30:56 -0400
    where is the resolutions on this?
  • Be Harr
    commented 2018-04-21 04:30:27 -0400
    Where is the resolution on this?
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  • Justin Sparks
    commented 2017-08-06 19:31:29 -0400
    I’ve been watching this through the years, as it affects my business and myself. It doesn’t seem to have any resolution that I can see, where are we at? Is there an update?
  • Stephanie McAllister
    followed this page 2016-10-21 10:12:48 -0400
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-23 12:17:53 -0500
    Interesting that my comment last night did not show up.

    There are a lot more people stuck in phase 2 as you say right there along with me.

    I question why you are here; shouldn’t you be on the site for people who support the pension cuts?

    Thank you for correcting yourself. You are doing better.

    Oh by the way, I have run the numbers and I have not taken out all I have paid in and also doesn’t the rule of 72 apply here?
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-23 01:16:52 -0500
    Correction: THERE are not enough active participants!
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-22 23:30:44 -0500
    Lorelyn Essig, you have collected a pension for 15 years, and have probably already collected 3 or 4 times what you put into the fund, but can’t understand why the CSPF would become insolvent in 10-15 years!! .7 billion inflows——2.8 billion annual outflows. Yes, YOU are part of the problem!! Their are not enough active participants to keep the ponzi scheme going for you, so your new pension payments will be based on what you put in, roughly 1% of you total contributions!! Live with it. Remember the 3 stages?

    1) DENIAL
    2) ANGER

    It sounds like you are stuck in phase two. Move on, and furthermore, understand WHY it has to be this way!!
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-22 22:54:24 -0500
    Loretln Esssig; You just don’t get it, do you? Their ratio of active participants to retirees is much better, so their inflows are better!! Plus they didn’t give their retirees too much relative to their contributions and the health of the fund.
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-22 10:38:30 -0500
    Tom D: You are invited to go do to yourself that which is biologically impossible.

    The other pension funds have recovered from the downturn; why has CSPF not?
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-21 22:34:32 -0500
    Wow, since 1980 CSPF has annualized returns of 10.8%, which are comparable to other pension funds. And for the last 10 years the fund has returned 7.1%, which is slightly better than other comparable pension funds. This figure includes the 2008 market downturn. It is too bad that MPRA wasn’t enacted earlier to undo the mismanagement of giving SOME retirees way too good of a deal. Now, we all have to suffer because of this mismanagement. You can’t allow retirees to get an annualized returns of 15-20%, when the fund returns 7-10%!!!
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-18 12:46:30 -0500
    I would be interested to find out of this fiasco would be covered under the RICO laws.
    Seriously, it appears as if it was an organized operation between CSPF, their trustees, Wall Street bankers and parts of the US Government. Lawyers and lobbyists run this country.

    Look at it this way: this president has doubled the debt from every previous president before him, more people are on gov’t bennies than ever before and this fiasco will most likely cause a few hundred thousand more looking for welfare, SNAP, etc. It will cause much less tax payments made to IRS to support this gargantuan over bloated government. And we are inviting many thousands of people who hate us into our country and give them the same benefits. Something major wrong here.

    Meanwhile, Yale students sign a petition to repeal the 1st Amendment and everyone has their nose in the phone and know everything the Kartrashians do but don’t know anything that is happening in the District of Corruption.
  • K. Overall
    commented 2015-12-18 11:22:58 -0500
    According to a recent article from the Pension Rights Center, K. Feinberg, the appointed special master by Treasury, cannot reject CS pension reductions because they “will ruin people’s lives” but only if the pension reduction will not solve the financial problems and/or the cuts exceed what is need to make the fund solvent.
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-18 01:52:42 -0500
    Are you serious? IBT recruit companies into CSPF? Why would any company want to join this mess? It is NOT a good deal for anybody anymore, retirees, future retirees, or companies either for that matter!! It might be easier to sell sand to the Arabian’s!

    As for me, don’t try to fill in the gaps with your wild assumptions! Like I stated before, you have no idea!!

    As far as the CSPF. Do you finally understand, what needs to be done and what will most likely happen? Or are you still in the dark?
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-17 14:07:49 -0500
    Stop whining.

    I wonder why the IBT is not courting new companies into the fold so they will be contributing payments? They are letting businesses which are paying in now buy their way out.
    Why is this happening? I contend that the big boys in the union know it is going to fail and they are collecting all they can in their cream cans buried in the backyard or offshore accounts, etc and then it will completely fail.

    So, you “taught” calculus and statistics at a major university. Taught is past tense. I can see it would be in the past tense if you had the same abrasive attitude there that you have here. Looks like you finally found the proper niche; you can go kick a wall when you have a big hissy fit. Not that there is anything wrong with warehouse jobs… I loaded some trailers, too.
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-17 13:44:18 -0500
    LoreIyn Essig : I would like to see some of the retirees with the same idiotic attitude as you show up at my place of work where we contribute 15k/year and tell us that it ok for the fund to run out of money, just so the can get what they were “promised” Well, for your information we were “promised” too! If I would try to retire and collect now, I would get about $450/month even though I contributed around 180k!! And there are a lot more of us that took concessions already. So QUIT your crying. We all are in this together!!
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-17 11:56:32 -0500
    I’m not scared of PUNKS like yourself.
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-17 11:29:54 -0500
    Come back and talk when all the stuffed shirts at CSPF and all the trustees drop their salaries substantially. By that I mean by the same amount they want us to take and also give up their sweet deal pensions.

    I bet you don’t dare go to any hearings with any retired Teamsters and state your opinions. I doubt you would leave in the same condition you arrived.

    Why are we not allowed to pick who is in charge of our retirement funds? It looks like a pretty good gig that they have; they even get to give themselves big raises while they cut ours by half. SWEET!
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-17 03:05:12 -0500
    These are my words: Without money there is no other way.

    1) You can’t increase contributions form actives, since it would put too much of a burden on the companies currently in the plan.
    2) You can’t get more actives to contribute because no company wants to join into a pension fund in the critical zone. ( actually more would exit if they had the cash)
    3) You can’t expect to get more than 12% returns on the invested money.

    These are 3 ways of increasing inflows, which can’t be done, so the only alternative is to DECREASE outflows or pension payments, i.e. cuts.

    Here is one paragraph from the Dec. 9 letter.

    Our Trustees have developed what we believe is a fair rescue plan to ensure that our participants will receive benefits based primarily on the amount of contributions made on their behalf by their employers. While painful, Central States proposed pension reuse plan is the only realistic way possible to save the Fund from financial failure and help ensure that we are able to pay benefits in the future. The longer we wait, the larger the benefit reductions will have to be. If we wait too long, Central States Pension fund will run out of money and won’t be able to be saved.
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-16 21:58:37 -0500
    Tom D: Central States MAY have to go back and figure something else out since they did NOT abide by the rules. They did not consider any other way besides cut all of us. Meanwhile they gave each other very healthy raises.

    Tell us about the Dec 9th letter from CSPF. I didn’t get anything yet.
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-15 06:34:35 -0500
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-15 01:10:22 -0500
    As I stated before, part of their “mismanagement” was giving out much pension money to some retirees!! I read that the sister pension fund did not do that.
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-15 01:00:14 -0500
    Due to the fact that the other pension funds have recovered from the “recession” without CSPF’s continuing problems, I think the problem is with upper management and the Wall Street “investers” as well as the Federal gov’t which was supposed to be overseeing operations.

    Don’t be so presumptuous as to lecture me or think that we all want to see the same management keep managing the CSPF. They should be terminated immediately.
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-15 00:43:42 -0500
    If you read all of my posts (and understood them), you would not make such a foolish comment. I repeatedly have stated that his salary should be cut and that the retirees and actives cuts will keep CSPF solvent so he and his staff will maintain their jobs. So there you go again!!! I believe that he speaks the truth, but only tells a certain side of the story. Do you or I actually expect him to state that he is making too much money? NO. That would be like you stating that have been getting too much pension! I obtain FACTS from ALL sources, then form my opinion. Anyway, he could be dismissed for stating false facts. I do agree he is biased, but dishonest is a whole other accusation!!
  • Lori Essig
    commented 2015-12-15 00:29:09 -0500
    Tom D: part of your problem is listening to the crap that Nyhan spews forth.

    You would do well to go read some of the entries on from some of the people such as Christopher Langan who wrote a paper on UPS’s behalf and a Pension Center official that I can’t remember the name of.

    Personally, I would go look out the window to be sure if Nyhan told me it was raining. Too bad you are naive enough to believe what he spews. He is just busy trying to save his cushy job and lavish lifestyle.
  • Tom Dolyniuk
    commented 2015-12-14 23:47:18 -0500
    Lorelyn Essig, You sure like to make a lot of assumptions and accusations. Straighten out and fly right!!!!— you wayward bird! Go to the" rescue plan" site and read EVERYTHING. View Nyhan’s testimony in front of Congress. Get the facts instead of trying to fill in the blanks with your gibberish. Maybe it is too late for you to change, but hopefully you will try!!
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