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Union Briefs for Thurs., March 21, 2013: Teamsters’ time bomb to cost taxpayers billions

Time Bomb

The underfunding problem of union multi-employer pension plans continues. With as much as $369 billion in the hole, union pensions have become a ticking time bomb for both employers as well as present and future retirees.

Ultimately, the American taxpayers may be asked, as they were in 2008, to bailout unions’ underfunded pension plans.

It’s Thursday, March 21, and these are your Union Briefs:

Already facing a $34 billion deficit, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the government entity created to help current and future retirees if their pensions go bankrupt) could be exposed to $14 billion more with the Central States Pension Fund being $14 billion underwater.

Bradley Slawson Jr. long ago earned a reputation for intimidation. Now he’s likely earned one for theft as well. This time around, his father, Bradley Slawson Sr., appears to be the lead partner. On January 16, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) filed charges against the pair, based on recommendations by the Independent Review Board (IRB), the three-member body that has overseen the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for more than two decades.

The United Steelworkers Union isn’t taking news that Tesoro is closing its Hawaii refinery lightly.

The union delivered 5,000 petitions to Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday, asking him to help find a buyer for the Kapolei refinery, according to a union press release.

UAW: Union Ain’t Wanted…

The United Auto Workers has won the backing of the head of an influential German union in its effort to represent the hourly workers at Volkswagen AG’s Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant.

“In Chattanooga, you need union representation” to negotiate working conditions, IG Metall President Berthold Huber said in a letter distributed in early March to the plant’s 2,350 hourly employees. A copy of the letter was obtained by Reuters.

Relatedly…

America’s powerful UAW labour body has launched a blistering attack on proposals for Japan to enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), claiming the move would cost “tens of thousands of jobs.”

The possibility of Japan entering the TPP has been welcomed by the Global Automakers Association, which maintains the inclusion of all major, automotive countries on the Pacific rim would create a single set of consistent rules and increase trade, but the UAW is taking a radically different view.

Airline merger mayhem…

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today formally requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) release its US Airways Mechanic & Related members from further mediated contract negotiations and initiate a thirty-day countdown to a strike.

In brief…

Why, of course he did…

President Barack Obama’s dire warnings that the across-the-board sequester cuts would spawn massive unemployment—losses of up to 750,000 jobs—were exaggerated, say top economists.

UBS projects federal payrolls will decline 100,000 annually.

These have been your Union Briefs for Thursday, March 21, 2013.
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“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

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