Teamster Pension Cuts in the Works


The Detroit News reports on a public hearing held yesterday to allow comment on proposed benefit cuts to the Central States Pension Fund, one of the largest Teamster retirement funds.

One retiree spoke bluntly to reporters about prospects for himself, and for people being vested in the plan in the future.

“If they get this plan passed, who would want to join Teamsters when they just screwed 100,000 retirees?” said Fred Bora. “It’s going to have a bigger fallout. It’s really going to go down hill. We’re still going to get the short end of the stick.”

The fund is being reorganized under the Multi-employer Pension Reform Act of 2014, which was signed into law by President Obama. Obama’s appointee to oversee the cuts, Kenneth Feinberg, noted after the hearing that he had authority to impose the reorganization plan over any and all objections.

The trustees of many multi-employer funds used money from those funds to lobby for the Act, against the better interests of the rank and file union members and retirees they purport to serve.

Under the plan being considered, retirees could lose up to 70% of their monthly benefits, at a time when their employers (such as UPS) are reporting record profits. A typical pensioner would go from $3000 a month to $1200 a month in benefits.

Read more on the public hearing: Hundreds speak out on proposed Teamster benefit cuts

Read more at Teamsters for a Democratic Union: Treasury to Hold Town Hall Meetings

Jeremy Corbyn Interview

Red Pepper interviewed the Labour Party leader and asked if it was his sense that the same type of thing (insurgent political campaigns from the Left achieving victory against all odds) is happening elsewhere.

Yes. Because this wasn’t anything to do with me. This was to do with people wanting a different way of doing politics – particularly the young people who came in and were very enthusiastic. Our campaign was a combination of the young and the old, very little in between, the middle-aged weren’t there. They were either under 30 or over 60, most of the people that came in to work on the campaign, and the phone-banking they did was quite extraordinary. There was one of them where I witnessed this 18-year-old Asian girl with a burka explaining to a 90-year-old white woman how to operate the mobile phone to make calls, and they were both getting on just fine. And it was kind of lovely.

Read the interview: ‘What we’ve achieved so far’: an interview with Jeremy Corbyn | Red Pepper

sister scarecrow hair

she came to me in a dream again
with wild scarecrow hair
biting her lower lip
eyes wide as a child’s

a lifetime ago
we were partners in mischief
disguised as suits in the daytime
headbangers after 5

it was like an elaborate joke
that no one else was in on

a conspiracy
for subversion
for world domination
they never knew what hit them

wolves in wolves’ clothing

we were the smartest people in nearly any room
and we could read each other’s minds

people assumed we were lovers
not true

the truth is we adored each other
and we invented an elaborate joke
an intricate game
that no one could have invented
and that only we could play

once in awhile
with scarecrow hair my erstwhile sister
pops in to a dream
to remind me

waiting at st. john’s

the diovan takes hold and the palpitations come
i am dizzy
frightened and i
need to pee

but i dare not leave
the family
waiting room

a man i’ve not even met
is cutting her

this waiting is always
the worst part
at least it has been all of the other times

i hope it’s the worst part

blackface massacree

30 years defending poor blacks
and this undermines those efforts

his wife, in the 2012 election, denies leaking

elin nordegren
came close to brief comment:
“i wouldn’t dress up.”

he suspects that enforcement
is calling for white performers
who use black paint
for a protest
and then gag his opponents

the other republican running was part of a couple’s costume

the former lead
which began making a job that he’s not capable of
tried to explain, hearkening back to a style
to bow out of and act out
insulting black stereotypes
like a battered tiger woods.

days of slavery

persisting for decades

but what has given fuel to the president of the local 9-iron?

how’s your morning

i measure the morning by the
coffee left in the brown mug
i wait for her phone calls
i arrange the ones and zeros
i check my blood pressure again
one-twenty-three over seventy-four
heart rate fifty-six…not bad
she doesn’t call very much anymore
we are both busy at work
we are settled into our routines
maybe i ought to call her
i wouldn’t know what to say
just “hello” and “i miss you”
i guess that’s all i’ve got
half a mug of coffee left
the street sweeper just came by
maybe it’ll help with the drainage
wonder if she thinks of me

in the beginning we could spend hours on the phone or in chats going on and on about everything and sometimes we’d argue but we’d also laugh and we were so in love it just seemed like we couldn’t stand not being in contact for even a few minutes and the long distance bills were insane in fact it probably almost paid the rent just the savings on the phone bills once she moved down here

the coffee is cold and bitter
i arrange the ones and zeros
abstract and mathematical representations of things
wonder if anybody even notices them
google probably and also san francisco
at least i think they notice

i feel very abstract myself sometimes and i don’t know whether that’s something to worry about or not since it’s certainly not unique in the world at least from what i can tell from my friends on twitter and it’s not even particularly unique to me though it seems to be more common now than it was in the past or maybe i’m just able to articulate it a little better now or i think i am

i think i am going crazy
at least sometimes i think so
sometimes i just think i’m spoiled
i expect too much from life
weird tapping sound outside the window
dripping of some sort or another
it just got quieter and faster
i’m not really isolated or whatever
i have my ones and zeros
google’s algorithms stand at the ready
they wait for my next transmission

google this is me
google we have a problem
google she used to call me

cold bitter coffee ones and zeros
one-twenty-three over seventy-four
not bad

Ask Not

but let us of the deadly atom, yet torch
become the prey of hostile
subject to proof.

The dark powers of destruction
and villages across the globe
unleashed by science
signifying that first revolution.

That first revolution.

those peoples in the huts
Which divide us.
hope unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us

explore the stars, conquer
and bitter peace
the absolute uncertain balance of terror
undoing of those human rights
for we a new generation of Americans
dare not forget today cooperative ventures

the United Nations, our
our adversary,
we offer not the absolute power
to destroy
of its terrors

Let every nation know, tiger ended up inside.
Ended up inside.
stays the hand of mankind’s renewal, as well as change

it is both racing
to alter that we share,
never fear to negotiate
for we are the heirs

let word go forth from this forum for invective
for in this century, tempered by the hand of God

oppose any foe, liberty.

Any foe, liberty.

Communists may be doing it, pay any price, bear any shield of the new
and time and place, to friend final war.
Friend final war.

Arms are sufficient.

bleeding manifesto

the common ruin
of social rank
the means developed
the old ones
paved the way
demand ever rising
the rising bourgeoisie
took its place
new conditions of oppression, new navigation, railways extended
in the same rapid development
same rapid development
the new markets
no longer sufficed

bourgeoisie and proletariat
from class antagonisms
from class antagonisms

commence, middle ages.

every other day

not connected
and connected
but specific of meaning
events meaning
combinations is acausal
expected inconceivable. on causal chance
readily are inconceivable
examine their reflection
impossible connection to all
it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards
polished difficulty
telling gently impressive
retort resistance. strange.
into the against beetle,
into hope broke I
what together – so together together…
that everyone
(that means everyone)
touched religion
go on

Ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry?

bowie-young-americansYoung Americans came on the radio on the drive back from dropping my daughter off at school this morning. When this album was released in 1975, I was a DJ in my hometown’s first disco, The Hideaway. This song, along with Fame from the same album, were my favorites in the stacks that autumn. They had an authentic, organic sound grounded in Philly Soul, and thoughtful lyrics that went way beyond most of the rest of what we played, which I found to be repetitious and trite.*

I’d heard lots of Bowie before, of course, and couldn’t resist the hooks in songs like Space Oddity or Suffragette City or Rebel Rebel, but his persona put me off and frightened me. I was under 18 and living in a conservative Evangelical Christian home. David Bowie and people like him were threatening and dangerous – worldly, seductive, transgressional. In the case of Bowie, that was obviously his intention.

The Young Americans album changed me. It began to change my view of the world. It wasn’t the only influence in this regard, but it helped to make me more questioning of conformity, more interested in things under the surface and more accepting of others. It prompted me to recognize and confront my own homophobia for the very first time. Allowing myself to enjoy the music pushed me to consider how silly it was to feel frightened by another human being merely because they weren’t quite the same as me. Aren’t we all different?

By the time Patti Smith’s Horses came out later that year, I was ready to listen .

* …if sometimes plenty of fun. Remember That’s The Way (Uh Huh, Uh Huh)?