The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Retirees Protest Pension Theft

Feb 15, 2016

Hundreds of Teamster retirees packed a hearing in Detroit last week to protest proposed pension cuts. People had come from all over Michigan.

People were angry. Pickets outside the building held signs such as “Pension Theft,” and “Your Government Found a Way to Steal Your Pension.”

Retirees are blaming the government because Congress passed a law in December 2014 that allows “multi-employer” pension funds to make cuts. So the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund is proposing to cut the pensions of more than 270,000 current and future retirees–anywhere between 50 per cent and 70 per cent!

Many of these workers had multiple employers because companies lay off workers. Or, they go out of business ... specifically to stop paying out pensions!

As one retiree pointed out, companies paid “special dividends” to their stockholders, but did not cover their pension liabilities. The pension money that the companies kept was not even theirs–it was the money workers had put aside for their retirement!

It’s robbery in plain sight. But in this capitalist society, the laws, the courts, the whole legal system, allow–in fact help out–capitalists to rob workers. Even those who are already retired.

The protest in Detroit shows the anger that continues to simmer among working people. Better if it were to boil over!