Local Teamsters face deep pension cuts

400,000 Teamsters are getting their pension funds cut.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Over 400,000 Teamsters who have their pension funds managed by Central States Pension Fund could see some deep cuts.

Workers received letters this week indicating they will see a reduction in their funds.

McDonald retiree Steve Whitacre worked as a diesel mechanic for 34 years. His letter said he will be losing $2,000 per month.

“I could understand the fund being in trouble and taking something, but they are taking 60 percent of my wages that I earned,” Whitacre said.

Retiree Lou Toth owns The Struthers Sharpening shop. He’s also dealing with the cuts after a 31-year career.

“Now, we are supposed to take care of the mess they had,” Toth said. “I’m fortunate, I have other sources of income, but for a lot of people this is all they have and they are going to be starving.”

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said retirees need to be able to get involved when their pensions are cut. He is sponsoring a bill in Congress to bring retirees to the table before cuts are made.

That change will come too late for the Teamsters. Their pensions will be cut next summer.

“Normally, when you are robbed you call 911. This time they are giving you almost a year notice,” Whitacre said.

Pension fund managers said the cuts are necessary because there is now only one teamster paying into the fund for every five retirees. Without the changes, the fund will be out of money in ten years.

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