Delaware News

Protecting Ohioans’ Hard-Earned Pensions

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

So when those pensions were threatened and retirees and workers faced cuts to the pension benefits they had earned, we never gave up. We worked with the people of Ohio to organize rallies and hearings on the ground and finally, in March 2021, with a new President and a Democratic Congress, the Butch-Lewis Act was signed into law and saved the pensions of thousands of American workers.

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

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

We’ve secured the retirements of the bakers of Youngstown and Zanesville, the ironworkers and musicians of Cleveland, the masons of Akron, the sheet metal workers of Massillon and the confectioners of Bryan – and many more to come.

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

Without this funding, Local 52’s plan would have run out of money next year and retirees would have faced cuts of up to 60% on the pensions they have earned.

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

So many times we wondered if we could make it happen.

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

This is a victory for every American who works hard to provide for his family, who feels ignored, abandoned, invisible by his government. We have delivered on our promises to the workers of the United States of America, because if you love this country, you are fighting for the people who make it work.

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the US Senate.


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