US - Members of Congress including Democrat representative George Miller (pictured) plan to introduce legislation blocking the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation from using its own funds to carry out its agreement with United Airlines to terminate the company's four employee pension plans.
In a statement, Miller said he and other members of Congress intended to amend current legislation to stop the PBGC from “expending” its own funds to carry out its agreement with United Airlines. The amendment will be offered to the FY 2006 spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which includes funding for the PBGC.
Miller, who has been campaigning against the termination since it was given approval by a US bankruptcy court earlier this year, believes the move would cut benefits for thousands of UA employees.
In his closing statement following an online hearing he launched on the United Airlines termination, he said: “The move to terminate pensions by United Airlines and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) means more than just benefit cuts and recalculations. It means real injuries to countless working families. It means an uncertain future for the families of mechanics, pilots, flight attendants, ramp workers, ticket agents, and others.” Miller and Jan Schakowsky introduced legislation last month that would prevent bankrupt companies from dumping their pension plans onto the PBGC, through terminations similar to UA’s, for a six-month period starting on May 1, 2005. That legislation would apply to all of United Airlines’ employee pension plans.
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