Teamsters continue fighting for pensions

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 11:58:43-04

The pensions of over 26-thousand Teamsters in Wisconsin are safe for now. Just last week the US Treasury Department sided with retired teamsters, rejecting a plan that would have cut their retirement benefits by as much as 50-percent. But there's still work to be done today and local unions are continuing the fight.

Today Teamsters met up in Green Bay to make a plan to help ensure the pensions of millions of Americans aren't slashed, as union members reach retirement age.

A sense of relief set in earlier this month as the Treasury Department decided to side with Teamsters.

"They rejected the application to cut our pensions by finding it didn’t meet the letter of the law,” says Bob Amsden of the Wisconsin Committee to Protect Pensions group.

These teamsters won the first of likely many battles, in protecting their pensions from massive cuts.

"My personal cut would have been 55.4 percent of my 3000 dollar a month pension which I worked 33 years for," adds Amsden.

But while their retirement funds are safe for now there’s still work to be done.

"Now we've got to fix this thing," says Amsden.

They're calling for action from members today by requesting congressional support for their fight

"We're gonna do what we need to do to correct the laws and correct the situation," says Terry Black of the Wisconsin Committee to Protect Pensions.

"We've got a letter writing campaign going to Congress and the Senate," adds Bernie Anderson of the Wisconsin Committee to Protect Pensions.

It's all in an effort to ensure that unions across the country don't have to endure the same potential, unexpected cuts as they did.

"That law, the multi-employer pension act, is still on the books. It can be used against other pension plans," adds Amsden.

"Now we need to keep focus. We need to keep after Congress and Senate to pass the laws that will continue to protect us to keep our pensions," says Black.

And while today the Teamsters have nearly one hundred members of Congress and the Senate supporting them, they know the road ahead could be troublesome especially for smaller unions.

Teamsters plan on continuing this momentum with their campaign. They'll meet up again in Green Bay on June 12th at Stadium View to discuss their progress.