TAKE ACTION: NO to ‘GROW’ Act | YES on ‘HEROES’ Act
We need your help! Congress has begun to pursue additional federal stimulus legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our Industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted by this crisis and we need to ensure that that any future COVID-19 legislation puts workers first and ensures that working people are protected as the pandemic continues. The next Federal Stimulus Bill is currently in the Senate, H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (‘HEROES’ Act).
This “HEROES” Act would:
- Extend the “CARES” Act’s unemployment insurance provisions for as long as the health crisis persists.
- Ensure the safety of workers as states allow workplaces to re-open by ordering OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from infection.
- Make sure workers in all states have access to COVID-19 relief by demanding that states ramp up and improve their unemployment claim processing
- Preserve workers’ healthcare and ensure that no-one loses their benefits by passing a 100 percent COBRA premium subsidy to keep families insured on their job-based healthcare plan and extend eligibility.
- Allow all nonprofits fair access to government economic support in the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Protect healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers by allowing multi-employer plans to implement policies that safeguarded pensions after the Great Recession, such as freezing zone status, smoothing investment losses, and doing no harm to healthy pension plans by demanding the removal of the GROW Act from this legislation.
There is a lot of relief that this proposed legislation could provide to working people everywhere should it pass, however embedded within this legislation is one extremely devastating measure to multi-employer pension plans, called the ‘GROW’ Act. The ‘GROW’ Act is opposed by numerous Unions, pension plan participants and retirees, AARP, and the Pension Rights Center. What all of these worker and retiree representatives and experts understand is that the ‘GROW’ Act hurts workers and retirees and should not become law and should be removed from the ‘HEROES Act’. The ‘GROW’ Act would allow multi-employer plan trustees to “refinance ” their obligations to workers and retirees in the existing plan over 25 years instead of 15 years, the trustees must then divert that money to start a new composite plan with reduced benefits. In this way, composite plans rob Peter to pay Paul. This leaves neither plan-the existing plan nor the composite plan-with enough money to pay promised benefits.
While we applaud the efforts to ensure working families are protected by many of the included provisions within the “HEROES Act”, hard working Union Members under multi-employer Pensions should not have to suffer in order to receive the Federal support they deserve during this devastating global pandemic. By removing the “Grow Act,” we are able to confidently stand behind this legislation and the relief it would provide our struggling Members support during this time.
Our representatives in the Senate need to hear from us NOW!
Take Action today.
1. TAKE ACTION: Record a short video message
Joint Council 42 is collecting short video messages from Teamster Members to share with Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders plans to share the video messages from Teamsters around the Nation with his colleagues in order to stress the importance of the REMOVAL of the GROW Act from this legislation. These videos should only be about 15-20 seconds long and you are not required to add your name to the message.
These videos can simply be recorded with your cell phone or computer and then submitted via the form link below or directly to email@example.com. If you have any questions or issues uploading the file, please contact Amy Gorton at: (818) 432-3316.
2. TAKE ACTION: Send a Letter
IATSE Cares has put together a form letter to be sent directly to your elected officials that outlines the support for subsequent COVID-19 legislation. Simply add your name and address, take a second to review the form letter and add a personal statement regarding the need to remove the GROW Act from any federal legislation intended to support working people in our Industry.
Example text to add to form letter:
“Protect the healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers by allowing multi employer plans to implement policies that safeguarded pensions after the Great Recession, such as freezing zone status, smoothing investment losses, and doing no harm to healthy pension plans. The GROW Act that has been proposed in the next Federal stimulus package would hurt hard working families that are relying on their Pension plans to retire with dignity. Employers should be required to ensure the strength of pension plans, Pension ref should not be balanced on the backs of middle-class Americans.”
These are two easy ways to protect not only your future, but the future of Teamsters and Union Members throughout the Nation. We are grateful to our Joint Council 42 and Senator Sanders for taking up this fight to support middle-class Americans, in order to keep what is rightfully ours because of the hard work and commitment we have spent to build a safe, secure and comfortable life for our families.
If you have questions about the ‘HEROES’ federal stimulus bill that is currently in the Senate or the ‘GROW Act’, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org