Union Workers Restored: $16 Million in Pension Benefits Secured by Senator Schumer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced that more than 500 union workers in the north country will have almost $16 million in pension benefits restored. The Laborers’ International Union Local 1822, representing construction workers in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Franklin counties, will be impacted by this decision.

According to Schumer, the workers were left without the ability to retire due to a collapse in the pension system. The union’s fund, labeled as “critical status,” will receive approximately $16 million in special financial assistance, including interest, to ensure the payment to the plan.

The money will come from American Rescue Plan funds and will enable the plan to continue paying retirement benefits without reduction in the coming years. Schumer emphasized the significance of the American Rescue Plan in protecting the solvency of multiemployer pension systems, especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crash which left many workers at risk of losing their pensions due to speculation on Wall Street.

Prior to the American Rescue Plan, over 200 multiemployer pension plans were at risk of becoming insolvent. Schumer fought to include the Butch Lewis Act in the plan to secure pension solvency and prevent workers and families from facing the prospect of losing out on retirement savings through no fault of their own.

Schumer reassured the public that the American Rescue Plan is delivering millions of federal dollars in benefits directly to hardworking New Yorkers, stating that New York is and will forever be a union town. His efforts reflect his commitment to working with union brothers and sisters to secure the benefits and back pay they deserve.

This move comes as a relief for hundreds of workers and families in the north country, who no longer have to fear the loss of their pension benefits. It stands as a testament to the power of government intervention in safeguarding the financial security of workers and retirees.