We are getting some great feedback for the meeting on Saturday and have people coming from all around the State.
At the same time, there has been some controversy surrounding the discussion agenda item concerning potential litigation. Despite the controversy, we will keep this item for discussion open with respect to constitutional and other legal claims against MPRA itself and its implementation, but we will propose a restriction on conversation of issues related to potential litigation against the fund and the teamsters. We are asking people interested in these possibilities to restrain themselves from discussing them during the public part of the meeting. Of course, if someone raises them, we will not prevent them from doing so.
At the same time, we would caution people from believing everything you hear from local leaders or anyone who are actively trying to pit active workers against retirees. This type of behavior and leadership is a violation of the core principles that made the International Brotherhood of Teamsters a great institution in the first place. When you see someone doing this, you have to ask yourself what their motives are, and, if they are in a leadership position in the Teamster organization, you have to wonder how long a union can survive that attacks its members and divides them against one another.
Furthermore, people who are telling us that there can be no legislative solution to this crisis are either wrong, giving up or have some unknown agenda. Giving up is a surefire way to prove nothing can be done. UPS has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars pushing a legislative solution that includes federal loans and across the Board 20% cut. The cuts are not attractive, but is it really the case that the Teamsters with all of its lobbying muscle cannot make this a more attractive proposal with its own efforts in Washington. Can they really not get it down to 5% or 10% with other solutions. Of course they can. I have been to Washington and have met with a representative from the International Teamsters office who stated in no uncertain terms that John Murphy and James Hoffa were committed to preventing the cuts and believed that they could make it happen. In order to do so, they need our help turning this into a political issue. So, why are the local leaders working hard to get everyone to accept the cuts? I personally reached out to someone over a year and a half ago from the local union to offer my support and got only a very minimal response with no indication of any concern to organize support for potential affected workers and retirees. The only real action at the local level was from someone named Mark Greene and the team he had assembled.
If the local union won't act to protect pensions for actives and retirees, we should do it ourselves in collaboration with the International Teamsters organization in DC. To do this, on Saturday we also will be discussing upcoming meetings with political leaders locally and in DC, formal outreach to President Trump and a group trip to Wall Street to demonstrate and efforts to arrange a group meeting in Washington with the International Teamsters leadership team.
Please forward this update to anyone who received the initial email.
Thanks again and best regards,
On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 3:29 PM, Mike Dardzinski
We are organizing a meeting this Saturday, Sept 2 from 1-3 pm at the Immanuel Baptist Church on 815 Park Avenue in Rochester, NY to discuss the action items listed below. Please forward this email to as many people as you can. We can still stop the cuts and we should. What we do will affect millions of families across America. We need to find a way to get DC to pay attention to us and we will. If you cannot make it, but want to stay informed, please let me know.
1. Vote No Campaign and the Unconstitutional Voting Process
We will discuss why it is important to vote no to the proposed cuts, not just for people in NY state but for similarly affected workers and their families across America. A yes vote will threaten the livelihoods of millions of hard working Americans across the country and it will let the government and many employers off the hook for causing the problems we are confronting.
2. Upcoming Litigation
We will discuss possible upcoming litigation against the fund, the federal government, the teamsters and related employers for causing the problems we are all facing and how you can get involved.
3. Withdraw Campaign
Many UPS employees have started a withdraw campaign that will have a massive impact on the future viability of the Pension fund. We will have a presentation on this new initiative.
4. Possible Legislative Solutions
We will discuss several proposals for a legislative solution to the problems that would involve no cuts or smaller levels of cuts and how you and your families can get involved.
5. Employer Boycotts and Job Restoration
A number of employers made defined benefit commitments to their employers. They are now using the MPRA process to shirk their responsibilities to their employees. Some people have proposed organizing boycotts of employers who are not willing to stand behind their promises. Other people have proposed an effort requiring these employers to re-hire retired workers in appropriate capacities to ensure that they can pay their bills and live their lives in dignity.
6. Open Discussion on Potential Action
I hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday.