AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler joined the co-chairs of the AFL-CIO Retirement Security Working Group, UFCW International President Marc Perrone and SMART General President Joseph Sellers, in the following statement on the inclusion of multiemployer pension relief in the American Rescue Plan, which passed the House today:
After a lifetime of hard work, working people deserve to retire with dignity. The labor movement is proud of our negotiated multiemployer pension plans, which have provided retirement income security for millions of working people for decades. Reckless Wall Street behavior, industry deregulation and employers’ deviant use of corporate bankruptcy have threatened the financial security of millions who’ve worked hard only to have that promise robbed from them. The provisions included in this package are important steps that will help eligible retirement funds protect the retirement benefits we earned by sacrificing wage increases.
The current pandemic has only exacerbated the dire situation and the need for immediate action. The legislation contains provisions designed to help protect some plans that are currently healthy from sliding into insolvency because of the unprecedented economic shutdown, and also goes a long way toward stabilizing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the multiemployer pension system overall. This system not only provides retirement income to the 10.4 million hardworking Americans who participate in the multiemployer plans, alleviating the need to rely on government safety-net programs that already are stretched thin, but also generates more than $158 billion annually in federal tax revenue that benefits communities across the country.
The Senate should act quickly to send this relief to President Biden’s desk so we can keep the promise of a secure retirement for those who have earned, and deserve, nothing less.
Retirement Security Working Group members (in alphabetical order): Bonnie Castillo, NNU; Tom Conway, USW; Kenneth Cooper, IBEW; Joe DePete, ALPA; Ray Hair, AFM; Mary Kay Henry, SEIU; Richard Lanigan, OPEIU; Robert Martinez, IAM; Marc Perrone, UFCW; Robert Roach, ARA; Cecil Roberts, UMWA; Harold Schaitberger, IAFF; Joe Sellers, SMART; Anthony Shelton, BCTGM; Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO; Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO; Randi Weingarten, AFT