Painters Union: Grassley-Alexander Pension Proposal Hurts American Workers

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Painters Union: Grassley-Alexander Pension Proposal Hurts American Workers

HANOVER, MD— Statement by Ken Rigmaiden, General President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, on the Grassley-Alexander Multiemployer Pension Plan Proposal…. 

“Unions like the IUPAT have always been proud to provide American workers with a secure retirement future through our multiemployer pension plans. Now, thanks to mismanagement from billion-dollar investment firms and hostile legislation on Capitol Hill, the futures of the workers who built this country are at risk. The Grassley-Alexander Multiemployer Pension Plan, recently unveiled by Congress, unduly burdens the pension plans that union workers have relied on for decades.

The proposal contains no federal financial assistance whatsoever and instead punishes pension plans, already struggling due to corporate mismanagement, with new tax burdens. 

To cite one example, the Grassley-Alexander bill increases PBGC premiums exponentially and add an additional variable premium. For the IUPAT Industry Plan, these combined premiums would skyrocket from $29 per participant to $330 per participant. In total, these changes would mandate the Industry Plan find an additional $25,535,000 funds per year – just to pay for solely these PBGC premiums.

To protect American workers, we need leaders on Capitol Hill to understand the consequences of bills like the Grassley-Alexander plan. There are other bills on the table that better safeguard multiemployer pension plans. The Butch Lewis Act, sitting in the House now, is a step in the right direction.

When Wall Street gambled and lost, plunging our economy into a deep recession, Congress rewarded them with a $700 billion bailout that did nothing for everyday workers. Wall Street executives and politicians working in their interests made the mistakes that gutted workers’ pensions. Everyday American workers shouldn’t have to foot the bill.” 

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