An Open Letter to Tyson Johnson: Stand Up for Our Pensions

June 8, 2007: Where is the Freight Division of our union? While Ken Hall and Hoffa “seriously consider” allowing UPS to split apart the Central States Pension Plan, the Freight Division should be sounding the alarm.

Behind closed doors, maybe they are. But it’s time to come out of the closet and speak out to defend our pension plans and our Teamster unity. Teamster leaders are elected to be the members’ voice to Hoffa, not the other way around.

One week after Ken Hall put out a press release about UPS wanting to pull out of the Central States, freight Teamsters got a nearly identical message from Freight Director Tyson Johnson.

For years now, Tyson Johnson and our own local leaders have been telling us how detrimental it is for any company to pull out of our pension fund.

A one-time payment from UPS is fine for the short term, but what about 20 years down the road? Pulling 40 percent of the contribution base out would be disastrous. Tyson Johnson needs to stand up for all Teamsters and tell Hoffa and Hall there’s nothing to negotiate with UPS when it comes to destroying Teamster pensions and Teamster power.

Greg Smith is a clerk at Yellow in Cleveland Local 407.

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