A coalition of 19 labor unions, including the IAM, wrote a letter urging U.S. Senate leadership to improve and then swiftly pass the HEROES Act(H.R. 6800), legislation that will protect Americans’ health and restore the economy.
While this legislation includes many priorities the IAM fought for, including issuing an emergency temporary OSHA standard, extending unemployment insurance and subsidized COBRA benefits, it also includes a poison bill that would undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans.
The HEROES Act includes a composite pension plan known as the GROW Act that would end employer withdrawal liability from multi-employer pension plans, eliminate the safety net of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) and make benefits unpredictable. The IAM and several other unions representing millions of workers and retirees had warned against including the GROW Act in coronavirus relief legislation.
“We do have concerns, however, about a second set of multiemployer plan provisions included in the HEROES Act. Within the labor movement, we do not share the same sense of unanimity regarding Division N, the Giving Retirement Options to Workers (‘GROW’) Act,” the unions write in the letter. “Since there is a lack of consensus in the multiemployer community regarding the inclusion of the GROW Act in this legislation, we ask that Division N, the GROW Act, be dropped from the HEROES Act and we urge swift passage.”
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