Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

12/03/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 14:04

Labor Leader

GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) recently released a wrong-headed paper in response to the crisis faced by several multiemployer pension plans. The AFL-CIO Retirement Security Working Group says the senators' plan 'will not only injure the retirees and active participants it purports to help,' it 'will precipitate the collapse of all multiemployer pension plans.'

The group, in a statement issued yesterday, instead urges the Senate to act swiftly on current legislation:

'The AFL-CIO has endorsed other bipartisan bills without these fatal flaws: the Butch Lewis Act and the bipartisan American Miners Act, the latter of which must be passed this year to avoid significant harm to tens of thousands of retired miners and their widows.

'It is imperative that the Senate moves quickly on a solution that is viable and constructive-legislation that will provide retirees with their hard-earned benefits and stabilize the multiemployer pension system overall, while not jeopardizing healthy plans. If there is one thing we should all agree on it is that the cost of doing nothing will be catastrophic.'

$586 a month
The average retired coal miner's pension, which would be subject to a 10% tax under the Grassley-Alexander plan.

'Wall Street destroyed our economy, and they got a bail out. These workers, retirees and small businesses did everything right. Congress has a responsibility to protect the pensions they worked hard for and earned. We need to act now, before it is too late. Failure is not an option for millions of Americans.' -Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in response to the GOP pension proposal