The US Treasury Department has published a proposed rule which rejects UPS’s claim that Central States pensions should be cut even more to save the giant corporation from living up to its contract clause to “make whole” UPS Teamsters who retired in 2008 and after.
The proposed rule is out for comments due March 15, and a hearing on this matter is slated for March 22. You can bet UPS will have their top legal guns there. And some good Teamsters will be there, along with our allies.
UPS earlier submitted a comment to treasury in which the corporation claimed that all Central States retirees should have their benefits cut the maximum extent allow by law, including UPS retirees prior to 2008, except the one group UPS has to make whole: UPSers who retired after January 1, 2008. Their reason was pure greed: bigger cuts on all those retirees would mean that UPS could save money living up to its contractual obligation to make up for the cuts imposed on post-2008 UPS retirees.
UPS lobbyists got the 2014 MPRA law written to include Tier 1 (so called “orphans”), Tier 2 (most other retirees) and Tier 3 (UPSers who retire after 2007, who the corporation has to make whole.)
UPS spent $7.6 million lobbying Congress in 2014, a 36% increase over 2013. They also gave $3.1 million to political candidates, according to OpenSecrets.
UPS has threatened to sue if they don’t get their way through rule making, so it looks like they will be tuning up their high-priced attorneys now.
This move reeks of corporate arrogance. UPS cut a rotten deal with Hoffa and Hall in 2007 to pull its members out of the fund, which crippled the fund’s income stream. They then had to offer those UPSers still working some protection from Central States’s potential collapse, by agreeing to a clause in the national contract to make up the difference in any future pension cuts.
Now they want to weasel out of the deal they signed. And in the process they are demanding that UPS Teamsters who retired prior to 2008 get cut even more than the 50 % cut that Central States has proposed.