Bernie’s labor plan includes restoring pension rights undone by Obama/Biden in 2014.


Campaigning in Iowa, Bernie Sanders released a comprehensive labor plan today as he and other Democratic presidential candidates addressed the Iowa Federation of Labor’s annual convention in Altoona.

Included in Sanders’ plan is a repeal of an Obama executive order, signed in 2014, allowing for major pension theft across private sector industries.

The 2014 bill, endorsed and signed by President Obama led to what was the first cuts in earned pension benefits to current retirees in over 40 years.

Writing in the Intercept in 2016, David Dayen:

The pension changes in the CRomnibus enable trustees of multi-employer plans — union-negotiated pension benefit funds that cover employees across entire industries like trucking or construction — to apply to the Treasury Department to cut benefits for current retirees in order to stretch the fund’s resources. This changed the ban on cutting such benefits written into the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, which governs private-sector pension plans.

There were no public hearings on this change to pension law, and the details were only made available days before the vote. The bill’s sponsors, Republican John Kline and now-retired Democrat George Miller, insisted that the rider was necessary to extend the life of the pension plans through collective sacrifice. Roughly 150 to 200 multi-employer plans covering 1.5 million workers face significant fiscal strains that could cause a drain on funds in the next 20 years.

But Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times warned in 2014 that “panicky trustees — usually union and employer representatives — could act prematurely, cutting the income of retirees who can’t make it up from other sources.”

Sanders has already tried as Senator to reverse the 2014 Obama executive order allowing private sector pension theft.

Recall that Joe Biden was part of this behind-closed-doors deal to rob private sector pensions.

Sanders, on the other hand, introduced a bill which tried to undo the Obama/Biden executive order back in 2015, a year after it became law.

3 thoughts on “Bernie’s labor plan includes restoring pension rights undone by Obama/Biden in 2014.

  1. After reading this, I wonder how any union could support Joe Biden and not Bernie Sanders? It will also be interesting to see who CTU endorses. Thanks for putting this out there, Fred.

  2. Feel the Bern.
    Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. Yet the giant, multi-national fossil fuel corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars furthering their greed and protecting their profits at the expense of our climate and our future.

    The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that if we fail to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in under 11 years, the human, environmental, and economic costs will be severe and irreversible.

    Climate change is not a problem we will have to worry about 50 years from now. Overwhelming scientific consensus indicatesthat climate change is already exacerbating extreme weather events like heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and hurricanes. Climate change is already negatively impacting real estate values due to sea level rise and global agriculture and food security through changing water availability, flooding, and drought. These trends will only continue as global temperatures and sea levels continue to rise. We need a president—Bernie Sanders—who understands that climate change is real and an existential threat to our country and the entire planet. When we are in the White House, we will:

    *Pass a Green New Deal to save American families money and generate millions of jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100% energy efficiency and sustainable energy. A Green New Deal will protect workers and the communities in which they live to ensure a transition to family-sustaining wage, union jobs.
    *Invest in infrastructure and programs to protect the frontline communities most vulnerable to extreme climate impacts like wildfires, sea level rise, drought, floods, and extreme weather like hurricanes.
    *Reduce carbon pollution emissions from our transportation system by building out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles, and public transit.
    *Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.
    *End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.

    1. The way to accomplish more electric vehicles quickly would be through a voluntary program similar to the “cash for clunkers” program. If someone turns in a gasoline powered car, have the government pay for 30 or 40 percent of the cost of an electric car. That would get a lot people to switch over quickly.

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