As the drumbeat for pension security rolls through the halls of Congress, Democrats in the United States Senate kicked off their campaign to pass meaningful pension reform via the Butch Lewis Act. The legislation, S. 2254, will provide relief to more than 1.5 million workers, pensioners, and retirees who depend on their multi-employer pension plans. On October 16, Senate Democrats held a press conference on Capitol Hill to highlight their sincere efforts to move the Butch Lewis Act through the Senate for a floor vote.
The week was filled with events that highlighted the importance of moving this legislation without further delay. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, surrounded by Sherrod Brown and other leading Democratic senators, kicked off the week’s events. In addition to this press conference, union leaders and their affiliate members made congressional visits, phone calls, and participated in a staff educational briefing on multi-employer pensions hosted by the AFL-CIO and the US Chamber of Commerce.
AFM members also continue to weigh in in substantive ways. The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA), the Recording Musicians Association (RMA), and Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) have begun a joint letter-writing campaign, initiated by Meredith Snow, which has yielded phenomenal results. ICSOM’s campaign has seen 338 people generate 704 emails, 14 phone calls and numerous tweets to US Senators thus far. There have been 103 contacts in California, 27 in New York, 25 in Texas, 21 in Minnesota, and 19 in Illinois since the campaign began two weeks ago. They have made contact in 32 of 50 states. The RMA sent out 6,000 appeals asking for member involvement. RMA and TMA have just begun their campaigns and also will be contributing significantly to the effort.
In an hour-long conference call on Tuesday, October 15, AFM TEMPO Signature Members discussed building letter-writing campaigns within their locals to increase rank and file communications with their members of congress. Further, we want to thank Senators Schumer, Brown, Manchin, Murray, Wyden, and Stabenow for their tireless efforts to bring the Butch Lewis Act to the Senate floor while at the same time fighting to preserve the dignity and benefits earned by hard-working Americans who, through no fault of their own, are in the untenable position of possibly losing a lifetime of hard-earned benefits.
Join AFM Public Relations Director Rose Ryan on the Action Network today to write your senators and tell them to protect our pensions: actionnetwork.org/letters/protect-our-pensions-9.