Now the union retirees count on the politicians they elected to pass legislation to benefit them. Nice gig, huh? I guess all the payola paid off.

Teamster Local 346 retirees hit with pension cuts
By Tara Terregino

October 27, 2015
Updated Oct 28, 2015 at 10:11 AM CDT

Duluth, MN ( — Looming pension cuts for members of Teamsters Local 346 in Duluth brought dozens together Tuesday to learn more about what’s to come.
Many say their livelihoods are at stake.

The teamsters with members who work in law enforcement to UPS and paper mill workers were expecting a small cut, anywhere from 10% to 20%.
But after receiving letters from the Central States Pension Plan this month, some member’s life savings could be cut up to 66% and the union is demanding answers.

“Most of us have worked for 30 plus years putting wages aside as pension to draw when we retire and now to have it taken away we feel it’s been stolen from us,” said Robert Topliff, Teamster Local 346 retiree.
Of the 407,000 participants in the Central States Pension Plan, nearly 70% are facing reductions.

Many of these are retirees who are disabled or too old to go back into the workforce and are left to figure out how to supplement their incomes.
“I’m a single person. I still have a house payment and I’m going to have to go back to work and at my age probably get a minimum wage job if I can get one,” said Shirley Baker, Teamster Local 346 retiree.

Retired Teamsters say they’re left with no security in their future.
“I immediately thought about what was going to happen to my brothers and sisters who have worked in the same situation that I have. We can’t go someplace today and get a job that’s going to pay anywhere near what we made when we were working and who’s going to want to hire somebody at our advanced age?” said Topliff.
Teamster officials say this will have more of an impact on their personal lives.

“They’re going to have to make decisions whether they got medication or put food on the table. Whether they’re going to pay rent or pay the heating bill,” said Roderick Alstead, Secretary of Treasury for Teamster Local 346.
Local 346 retirees are asking the U.S. lawmakers from Minnesota, Rick Nolan, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, to support a bill, making its way through Congress, designed to protect workers and retirees from cuts to their earned retirement benefits.
The bill is called the “Keep Our Pension Promises Act,” in which Congressman Rick Nolan is a cosponder of.
Congressman Nolan, Franken and Congresswoman Klobuchar voted against the cuts and and are in support of helping retirees.
The Central States Pension Plan has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Treasury to approve reduction benefits under the current pension fund plan that’s effective July 2016.
Ballots will be sent to plan participants next year asking if they support or oppose the reductions.

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