MPS Signs on with Coalition of Unions
As many of you know, lawmakers in Washington are responding to our pension crisis. In early November 2017, the Butch Lewis Act was introduced in Congress by Senator Sherrod Brown. The proposed law would guarantee that all plan participants receive 100% of their promised pension benefit. It is the only plan that preserves 100% of our hard-earned pension benefits.
For the last few months MPS has been in frequent contact with lawmakers across the country asking for the “Butch Lewis Act of 2017” to be a top legislative priority and to be included as part of the upcoming omnibus spending bill.
While we have made progress and gained considerable support for this legislation, other forces in Washington are currently trying to undermine the Butch Lewis Act. The main opposition is a proposal called the Grow Act. This proposal would deny AFM-EPF access to the federal loan program and instead would compel cuts to our accrued pension benefits.
The main sponsor of the Grow Act is the NCCMP (the National Coordinating Council on Multiemployer Pension Plans), which is a Washington lobbying group that in 2014 drafted MPRA, the law that allows our pensions to be cut. MPS has previously pointed out the strong ties between our AFM-EPF trustees and the NCCMP. (See prior post here.) Unfortunately, our trustees continue to support the NCCMP by paying dues, by serving on their board and by being actively involved with that organization.
Musicians for Pension Security has recently joined AARP, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the National United Committee to Protect Pensions, the National Retirees Legislative Network, the Pension Rights Center, the United Steelworkers, and the Western Conference of Teamsters to oppose the NCCMP in its effort to subvert the Butch Lewis Act. See the joint statement here.
We call on the trustees of AFM-EPF to immediately show their support by joining this coalition and publicly rejecting the NCCMP's Grow Act.
AFM-EPF trustees say they support the Butch Lewis Act. However, it is impossible to wholeheartedly support it without disavowing the NCCMP's proposal. By immediately joining MPS and many other unions by signing onto the coalition statement and rejecting NCCMP's proposal, our trustees have an opportunity to show plan participants that they are 100% behind the Butch Lewis Act. They will also show us that they will no longer allow the NCCMP to call the shots for the AFM-EPF.