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MEDIA ADVISORY: Retired truck drivers, spouses and widows to rally at U.S. Capitol to protest proposed pension cuts

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Joellen Leavelle, 202-296-3776
April 13, 2016www.pensionrights.org

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, on Thursday, April 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., thousands of retired truck drivers, spouses and widows will travel to Washington, D.C., for a rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to urge policymakers and the Treasury Department to stop unprecedented cuts to their hard-earned pensions. These retirees are traveling from around the country with one message: Protect our pensions!

More than 120,000 retirees are facing massive pension cuts because of a law called the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The Central States Pension Fund is the first and largest plan to apply to the Treasury Department to cut retiree pensions. The Treasury Department, which is responsible for MPRA’s implementation, has until May 7th to decide whether to approve the application.

Joined by members of Congress, allied organizations and unions, the retirees are calling for policymakers and government officials do everything in their power to stop the retiree pension cuts.“If these cuts go forward, not only will they devastate more than 120,000 retired Teamsters and their families, “says Karen Friedman, the Center’s executive vice president and policy director, “but the flood gates will open, emboldening other severely underfunded multiemployer plans to cut retiree pensions.” The Center believes that 50 to 100 of the other plans that are eligible to make retiree pension cuts under the law are waiting for the Treasury Department’s decision before deciding whether to move forward with their own applications to cut retiree pensions.

WHEN:     Thursday, April 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST

WHERE:   West Front Lawn, U.S. Capitol Building

WHO:       (Speakers listed in alphabetical order)

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D-OH)
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, (D-MO)
  • James Conigliaro, General Vice President, IAM
  • Jeff Cruz, Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders, (D-VT)
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell, (D, MI)
  • Karen Friedman, Executive Vice President and Policy Director, Pension Rights Center
  • Chandler Goule, Senior Vice President of Programs, National Farmers Union
  • Jim Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Bill Kadereit, President, National Retirees Legislative Network
  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur, (D-OH)
  • Rita Lewis, widow of Central States Pension Fund retiree Butch Lewis
  • Rep. Gwen Moore, (D-WI)
  • Sen. Rob Portman, (R-OH)
  • Rep. Tim Ryan, (D-OH)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA)

Karen Friedman and retirees speaking at the rally will be available for interviews. For additional information or to schedule interviews, contact Joellen Leavelle at (202) 296-3776.

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