Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Congresswoman Dingell calls for pension committee to work through August recess to finalize talks.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the office of Congresswoman Dingell, today, during a hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) reiterated her call for the urgent action needed to address the Pension Crisis. During the 5th hearing of the Committee since its formation earlier this year, Dingell called on the Committee to get to the task of crafting a negotiation that will save thousands of pensioners from cuts.

“Failure is not an option for any of us on this committee,” said Dingell. “This hearing is for us to hear from the stakeholders, but I’ve been hearing from the stakeholders every single day. I have stories of working men and women who are desperate and almost driven to suicide because they don’t know what their options are if their pensions aren’t there.”

According to the media release, Dingell offered to return to Washington or travel to wherever her colleagues are during the August recess to work on negotiating a final plan to address pensions before the November 30 deadline.

She then turned her questions to highlighting how workers had little to no ability to make decisions or were even informed about the financial stability of their pension plans.

Dingell continued, “Workers gave up pay increases and sacrificed compensation to at the time because of the promise of a safe and secure retirement. . We are talking about what will happen to the economy, what will happen to our communities, and what will happen to human beings across this country if we don’t address this pension problem. We have a moral responsibility to protect the retirement people have earned through a lifetime of work. The time to act is now.”   

Last week, Dingell brought together House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, other members of Congress, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, UAW President Gary Jones, and other leaders of multiple unions for a standing-room only townhall meeting in Detroit. The leaders heard directly from American workers and retirees of how the potential cuts and other issues are already deeply frightening. More than a dozen people shared stories of forgoing raises in order to add to their pensions, but now they are facing pay cuts of more than 70 percent. Pensioners described the impossible task of having to choose between putting food on the table or paying for prescriptions because the pension they were relying on is no longer there.  

Dingell has made fighting for a solution to the pension crisis a top priority since coming to Congress. She was appointed by Leader Pelosi to the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans which is instructed to report a bill by the last week of November that will be guaranteed an expedited vote in the Senate without amendments.

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