Card Check: Debt-Ridden Union Pensions Behind EFCA Push

Wall Street Journal, Saturday, “Union Pensions in the Red:”

We’ve all read about underfunded corporate pensions, but here’s an unreported story: Union pensions are even more in the red, and it’s one reason union chiefs are so eager to rig organizing rules to gain more dues-paying members…[snip]

In April, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund—which covers some 101,000 rank-and-file members—announced that its pension has been put into what the feds call “critical status,” or “red zone.” In other words, it lacks the cash to pay promised benefits and may have to cut them. As of 2007, the last year for which it reported results to the government, the fund had 74.4% of the assets needed to pay its benefits.

Thirteen of the bigger plans operated for the Teamsters have, together, a mere 59.3% of reserves necessary to cover obligations. Or consider that 26 pension funds at the food workers union, the UFCW, are at 58.7%. Seven locals at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters fare better at 67%. As a rule of thumb the government considers a fund to be “endangered” at below 80%, and in “critical” status at below 65%, and requires them to come up with a plan to get off probation within a decade.

Short of winning direct taxing authority, labor bosses have determined that the Employee Free Choice Act  is the best means for dragooning unwilling workers into unions so their cash can help cover up the pension mismanagement.

By the way, the SEIU’s counsel, Craig Becker, has been nominated for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board. His confirmation hearing could serve as a welcome opportunity to explore the SEIU’s political bullying and self-serving leadership.

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