Louise Line: Defending Your Hard-Earned Benefits
Not too long ago in this country, employees and their employers worked together to build successful businesses in our communities. These partnerships were built on the idea that an employee’s contribution to his or her company would not be forgotten after they retired. Sadly, the same standard does not apply today.
For years, corporations have spun off unprofitable pieces of their company, cut retiree health benefits, and used bankruptcy to avoid paying pensions promised to retirees. This is unconscionable and that’s why I’m proud to stand with Republican Congressman Walter Jones in introducing the Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that would limit the ability of large corporations to terminate or reduce the pensions and health care benefits for current and future retirees. While corporate restructurings, mergers, and spin offs allow companies to grow and enter new markets, this growth should not be at the expense of American workers’ hard-earned benefits. Our workers dedicate their careers to serving companies and earn their pensions and health care benefits in exchange for these efforts.
The Employee Benefits Protection Act is important, bipartisan legislation that would treat once-guaranteed benefits as vested benefits that can no longer be eliminated. If signed into law, this bill will protect hundreds of thousands of retirees across New York State alone, and millions more across the country.
This bill would build on my efforts to protect our workers. Earlier this year, I called on the non-partisan Government Accountability Office to investigate the trends of corporate restructurings and provide members of Congress with the information needed to protect their constituents’ health care coverage and retirement security. At that time, I pledged to continue this work and that’s what my bill, the Employee Benefits Protection Act, will do.
Our retirees cannot continue to live in fear that the benefits they have earned after decades of work could simply be stripped away at a moment’s notice. Solving this problem and defending our nation’s retirees begins with passing my bill. I will continue to advance this legislation for workers across Monroe County and the nation.
Louise M. Slaughter