Union Carpenters and Millwrights facing pension cuts to remain solvent

Posted at 6:56 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 20:27:59-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights is facing a crisis.

President Mike Barnwell says, “If we don’t do something now, it’s going to be dire.”

The union has filed a plan with the Department of Treasury to cut pensions by 16% to members who retired before 2007. Retirees after 2007 already have a reduced pension.

The fund is $772 Million but is 34.8% underfunded. It is set to go broke in 2034.

Before 2000 the fund was overfunded. But the stock market took a hit that year and after the 2009 recession the union took a hit.

“What some call a recession the building trades call that a depression,” says Barnwell.

If the Treasury Department approves the plan, members will also have to vote on it. The cuts would go into effect August of 2020.