Teamsters’ Pension Fund Panic

The Teamsters union is threatening a strike that could cripple the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Reports AP:

The Teamsters union is threatening a strike it says would likely shut down the Star Tribune if the newspaper, which is in bankruptcy protection, is allowed to scrap its contract with unionized drivers.

Teamsters Local 638 filed its opposition Monday to the newspaper’s proposal to reject the contract.

The newspaper wants to pull out of what it calls a “critically unfunded” multi-employer pension plan that was costing it more than $1 million a year in plan contributions.

It’s no wonder the Teamsters are desperate. The pension plan in questions, the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund, has been in critical financial condition for a long time, and cannot afford to lose any payments. Rank-and-file union members should be asking how the fund got so underfunded in the first place. Union chiefs have been using pension funds as political weapons to advance agendas that add nothing to shareholder value.

For more on the politicization of pension funds, see here.