Sanders-Baldwin Bill Restores Pensions Of 10 Million Workers Cut By Congress
[U.S Senator Bernie Sanders]: “We are here today to say as loudly and clearly as we can that we will not allow the earned pension benefits of up to ten million workers to be cut as much as 60 percent. Ain’t gonna happen! (applause).”
U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) are introducing the Keep Our Pension Promises Act to restore worker pensions cut by a 2014 law.
Known as the MPRA Act, it weakened ERISA defined benefit pension protections allowing deep cuts in multi-employer pension plans.
The pain that 2014 law causes workers was evident in the voice of retired Cleveland Ironworker Dan Wargo – who, after 40 years of hard dangerous work saw his monthly pension cut from $2600 a month to $1100 – a 58% reduction.
[Dan Wargo]: “If you ever thought that I thought I would be here – I can’t believe this is happening. Many of us have health and physical problems as a related to this work.
We were promised well-deserved pensions – which would when retired we could live the last years of our lives in dignity.”
International Association of Machinists President Bob Martinez urged support for the Keep Our Pension Promises Act as he blasted those in Congress and their corporate supporters for allowing these deep pension cuts.
[Bob Martinez]: “If they believe in working men and women it is their obligation to step forward with these senators and co-sponsor this bill.
And if the President of the United States really supports working men and women like he says he does, he should put KOPPA on the fast track to his desk and sign it into law as soon as it gets there. (applause).
And the fighting Machinists will stand with you senators every step of the way to ensure that we beat this thing back.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin says workers deserve at least as much respect from Congress as wealth gets on Capitol Hill.
[U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin]: “We have to make sure that Washington starts respecting work, not just wealth. (applause).
So let’s win this fight! (applause).”
Bernie Sanders says if Congress can vote to give hundreds of billions in tax cuts to the rich it can do the right thing for workers.
[U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders]: “If they can support crap like that, surely we can support justice for millions of American workers. (applause).”