Ken Previti: National Attempt at Pension Theft by December 11th?
According to In These Times.Com, “Reps. John Kline (R-Minnesota) and George Miller (D-California), the highest-ranking members on the House Education and Workforce Committee, have brokered a last-minute deal to reform multi-employer pensions, In These Times has learned. They’re now urging party leaders to include the plan as part of an omnibus spending bill, just before the 113th Congress is set to leave Washington for good on December 11” (http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17413/lame_duck_congress_nears_last_minute_vote_on_sweeping_pension_reform).
Friend and blogging colleague Ken Previti has likewise alerted us to this latest attempt by the current lame-duck Congress on private sector pension theft for multi-employer plans.
“Reps. John Kline (R-Minnesota) and George Miller (D-California), the highest-ranking members on the House Education and Workforce Committee, have brokered a last-minute deal to reform multi-employer pensions, In These Times has learned. They’re now urging party leaders to include the plan as part of an omnibus spending bill, just before the 113th Congress is set to leave Washington for good on December 11.
“The full extent of the Kline-Miller proposal remains unclear. In addition to providing trustees with new benefit-gutting powers, it may include other less high-profile elements from the “Solutions Not Bailouts” report, a proposal authored last year by the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), a labor-management coalition.”
Not surprisingly, the designated goals of the NCCMP’s menu sound eerily similar to many of the phrases and clichés offered by those legislators in Illinois proposing SB1. Example: “Any recommendations for change to the existing system must still provide regular and reliable lifetime retirement income to participants.”
Regular? Reliable? Would that be either without a promised COLA?
In addition, the longstanding corporate argument of saving the entire system by cutting back on promises appears early on in the presentations. Also, of course, what’s last on itemized goals and is usually first in unspoken strategies appears: to spur economic growth.
The report by In These Times identifies the soon-to-be retiring Democratic member of Congress (Miller) as the enticement for other uneasy liberals in the Democratic Party to join Republicans in this (suddenly) promising initiative. Unions supporting the measure include massive Building Trades organizations, which feel compelled to compromise now rather than face harsher action in the next few years. That sounds familiar.
Understandably, many retired union members feel double-crossed.
As Ken would alert all of us:
“Yes, teachers are the primary target, the scapegoats, for all of the damage done by the political theft and corruption that is strangling people who work for a living. But the target area has widened and continues to widen.
The federal government’s members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee seems to be the giant bully of bullies – especially during the lame-duck session of Congress. The Los Angeles Times reports it HERE. “Passing legislation on a tight deadline–especially a bogus deadline–is invariably a formula for serious mischief. That’s what’s happening with a proposal to deal with a supposed crisis in worker pensions by allowing trustees to slash the pensions of already-retired workers to shreds.
Read Ken’s important blog post: