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Biden and Congress Deliver on Pandemic Relief and Multi-Employer Pension Protection for Millions of Union Retirees Beneficiaries and Members

Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2021) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the American Rescue Plan:

LIUNA retirees, beneficiaries, and members owe a debt of gratitude to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Democratic Leader Schumer for not only enacting a robust pandemic relief bill but also for protecting our members’ retirement security. The legislation provides critically needed COVID relief to protect people who are working and those who have lost their jobs, and a life-saving transfusion of federal investment for union members’ multi-employer pensions.

LIUNA strongly supports key provisions in the legislation to invest in COVID virus vaccines, testing, and tracing, as well as, an extension of pandemic unemployment programs, the implementation of COVID-19 worker protection programs, stimulus checks for individuals, expanding tax credits for families and employers who offer paid leave, COBRA relief for workers, and expanding access to COVID-related paid leave for federal and postal workers.

The bill also includes $350 billion in state and local aid with $10 billion for infrastructure investment. These investments will help state leaders combat the pandemic, shore up budgets decimated by the pandemic downturn, and create jobs for LIUNA members restoring and rebuilding our infrastructure.

The multi-employer pension relief provisions in the bill come at a time when some funds are on the brink of insolvency and will fail without financial assistance. The plight of these funds has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic devastation. Provisions in this relief bill will provide necessary federal assistance and ensure that millions of retirees – including thousands of LIUNA retirees – and beneficiaries will still receive their full pensions and be able to retire in dignity after a lifetime of hard work.
LIUNA members are grateful to the White House and Congressional leadership for enacting this legislation, which will inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy and bolster the much needed efforts to accelerate vaccinations and get jobless Americans back to work as we get past this pandemic.