Protect Ohioans’ pensions – The Highland County Press

By US Senator Sherrod Brown

For so many Ohioans, giving up dollars at the bargaining table now for pension fund contributions and the promise of a secure retirement in the future has been the reality for many years.

So when those pensions came under threat and retirees and workers faced cuts to the retirement benefits they had earned, we never gave up. We worked with Ohioans to organize rallies and field hearings and finally, in March 2021, with a new president and a Democratic Congress, the Butch-Lewis Act was signed into law, saving the pensions of thousands of working America.

Thanks to the hard work of people like Rita Lewis, who led this fight to protect the pensions earned by millions of Americans, and because of the advocacy of so many Ohioans, we passed the Butch-Lewis Act, without a single Republican vote.

We saved these pensions without cuts and now we can see in real time that they are being restored.

We have secured the pensions of bakery workers in Youngstown and Zanesville, iron workers and musicians in Cleveland, masons in Akron, tin workers in Massillon, and confectionery workers in Bryan, and many more to come.

This week we celebrate the Valley View Teamsters Local 52 plan, a plan that will receive more than $84 million, ensuring that its nearly 800 members don’t have to worry about their future in retirement.

Without these funds, the Local 52 plan would have run out of money next year and retirees would have had to accept cuts of up to 60 percent in the pensions they earned.

But now they will get the pensions they fought for, bargained for, and gave up the raises. The pensions they earned.

Many times, we wonder if we could do this.

When Wall Street gambled and lost, they got a bailout. And when big corporations came to Washington looking for tax cuts, they got a handout. But when it was necessary to save for workers’ pensions—pensions that people worked their entire lives to earn—that’s where my fellow Republicans drew the line. They said it was too expensive and said it was not a priority. But we never gave up.

This is a victory for every American who works hard to support their family, who feels ignored, let down, invisible by their government. We keep our promises to the hard-working people of the United States of America, because if you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work.

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