Ohio Statehouse Rally to Save Pensions

Ten thousand union workers and retirees assembled on the grounds of the Ohio State Capitol today to protest potential cuts to the underfunded pensions of some 1.5 million people. They hoped to tell how cuts to their multiemployer pension plan benefits would devastate their lives and make it difficult to pay for their homes and medical costs.

Members of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans are scheduled to hold a field hearing Friday at the state Capitol.  The committee, which is comprised of eight Senators and eight Members of the House and evenly divided by party, is tasked with reporting a bill by the end of 2018 that would solve the pension crisis.

“America is facing a retirement crisis,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Unions like the Teamsters, UMWA and BCTGM have known this for years. Its time for the joint committee to find a legislative solution that will make them whole. They’ve waited long enough.”

The crisis Hoffa references is, unfortunately, the fault of unions. Pensions became underfunded when more retirees were taking from the pot of money than working union members were putting into that pot. If more workers join unions, more workers will put more money in the pension accounts. More workers will join unions if unions were relevant and something workers wanted to join. Since modern workers no longer want to join unions, the pension funds of retirees are drying up.

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Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.