Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Retirees Win Round One
“We’ve taken just normal, everyday grandmothers and grandfathers, and we’ve made citizen lobbyists out of them,” said Wes Epperson, a retired member of Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City, “and it’s been because of necessity.”
The movement won a first-step victory on May 6, when Special Master Kenneth Feinberg recommended that the Treasury Department deny the Central States Pension Fund’s bid to slash 207,000 Teamsters' benefits by up to 70 percent.
“I must congratulate the retirees for reaching out to us and making sure that their voices were heard,” Feinberg told reporters. “I can tell you that listening to the retirees and what they had to say, of course that influenced.”
Thousands of Teamsters, retirees, and spouses helped win this reprieve through grassroots lobbying—rallying, writing letters to Congress, and packing the hearings Feinberg held around the country.