On July 11 about 25 people from around the country had a meeting in the Washington Treasury Building with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin about what he called a pension” tsunami.”
At issue is the Multi Pension Reform Act of 2014, the Kline-Miller Act, which is law.
Prior to this bill, the pensions of retired workers could not be tampered with. That changed.
In 2015, the punch in the gut came.
I and many others — including about 20,000 participants in Florida alone — received letters informing us that a request to the Treasury Deaprtment has been made to cut pension benefits, as high as 60 percent, by The Central States Multi Employer Pension Fund.
The uproar began.
Rallies in Washington, meetings with political representatives, including two personal ones with U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho.
This was an earned wage that we forked for over 30 and 40 years like Social Security. After months of review, these cuts were not passed.
However, the problem still exists.
The effect on families and their contribution to the economy would be far reaching.
There are a few plans in the works from various entities, such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Parcel Service and a few others. And any proposed legislation, as Mnuchin explained, would need to be crafted in a bipartisan fashion — and it would ultimately have to be approved by Congress.
My response wasn’t optimistic given how bipartisan efforts are working.
How can we as a nation turn our backs on the workers who did things the right way?
It is unconscionable to take away earned retirement money from those who worked for it and are now retired — many of whom cannot return to the workforce.
It is that serious.
For now the fight continues.
I’d like to thank Teamsters Local 512 and its Retirees Club for their support, Yoho for listening and Mnuchin for taking the time to meet with us and so many more.
Gary Schuran, Middleburg